A friend inspired by yesterday’s post (a very talented musician) asked me some interesting questions about success, how much luck plays a role on your journey (which it does, but hard work comes first I think) and posed this question: if you could see into the future and knew that despite all of this hard work you would never get that book deal or the movie from your work, no one would read anything else you wrote and your stories would never be famous, would you give up?
Immediately without hesitation I knew the answer: No. No way. I write for the pleasure and love of writing; it’s how I connect to the world and without it I would feel lost. Do I hold in mind those goals of the book deals, the success, the big prize wins? Absolutely. It drives me to be better than I ever imagined I could be, but I write for the way it makes my life worth living. Does that sound corny?
I was once asked the same question about Lee, the love of my life who I lost ten years ago this year. If I knew time would be so short and how much I would hurt for so long after he died, would I choose not to have loved him? I think you all know the answer to that one. It’s not always about the end point you imagine for yourselves. Sure I wanted children, a wedding, a long and happy life together… we want many things in life that don’t happen. But I wouldn’t trade a single thing not to have those three years. I am me because of that and the tenacity to succeed and the way what happened to me shaped how I write and how I fight came from that, so maybe I wouldn’t be the same writer without that.
Live for the journey not the end point, but always believe you can better, fitter, stronger than you really are in whatever you do. Success is a measurement you define, so be that lose a pound (why not make it two, five?), finish a story, win the Costa, you define the goal, but dare to dream big because I truly believe we are all better than we ever imagined we could be, if only we allow ourselves to know it.
That is all.