Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Following the Bliss

I mentioned a couple posts down that I was starting a new story.  

Well, I fibbed.

Okay, actually I didn't fib.  I did start a new story.  But I haven't stuck with it.

There are lots of reasons but I'm not going to bore you.  Mostly because they aren't all positive and I prefer to stay in the light when I can.  The bottom line is that I didn't feel like writing that right now. So I'm going to focus instead on the future and what I do want to write next.

This path we walk as writers (I'm assuming most of you are writers so I'll use the collective here) is a murky one. There is no prescribed route. There is no checklist to accomplish our goals, no "if I follow this flowchart I will reach my destination."  There isn't a one-size-fits-all destination to reach.  Publishing takes so many shapes, one writer's "success" might not even be on another's roadmap. 

Like any journey with no clear destination, we can only use our hearts as our compass.

I'm not so bohemian as to forget that publishing is a business.  Because it is.  Books are commodities that are bought and sold. And when money is involved, the heart can become lost.  When something becomes commercial, it is assigned a value. As an unpublished author of three completed manuscripts, I've been tempted at times to disregard my unpublished efforts as lacking value. To the publishing industry, these efforts DO lack value.  No one has made money from them.  

But to me, they are invaluable.  They're the stepping stones on my journey.  I've started every story I've finished as an exercise in following my bliss.  I've been struck by inspiration and I've followed it to its conclusion.  Each time, I've learned more about myself and I've grown in my craft.  So, though these stories may never earn me any money, they are treasures to me.

After all, you can not assign a value to an experience. It becomes part of what makes us intrinsically different from everyone else and our differences are what make us priceless.

So, once again, I'm following an inspiration.  As I set out, I have no idea what I'll learn.  It's exciting and scary and exhilarating.  But, isn't that the gift and the joy of this phase of the journey?