It's Saturday at PASIC conference, which means jeans and hair down day--no editors here, no agents, no need to look professional (not that I ever do much anymore anyway). Today is writers talking writing and business--meaning war stories day. Everyone swaps books, too, as well as what's up, what's down. And I wonder.
Are we ever where we want to be? It is always about looking ahead? There's been talk of goals and dreams, and knowing the difference. And I wonder.
The dream used to be to get published. That was the goal, too. To just finish the book. Then the next book. Then a book that would sell (there are seven under the bed that are not getting out anytime soon). Then it was the book sold, so it was promote the book--signings, bookmarks, ads. Do that whole thing. And the next book done and the next contract, and the next, and trying the whole build a career thing. And I wonder.
Is there such a thing as too many goals? So many you can't see that dream anymore--or it's become a waking nightmare. Or maybe you've got the wrong goals--goals that are doing more harm than good in getting them done? Or you've got goals and you're meeting them, and it's all good. But there's still so much focus on tomorrow that today gets neglected. And I wonder.
Is this perhaps the real blessing of between contracts. A time to skip past dealing with the day-to-day of deadlines? A time to think and breathe and remember doing something you love so much you'd do it even if no one ever paid you a dime? I love to let a book sit a spell. It gives perspective. It's not a bad thing to let a career sit a bit. Get perspective. Gives time to wonder again.
And I'm ready--lord, am I read--to get back to the writing. Thank god that after all the talking and the sessions and the gossip and the market trends, the written word is there. Because these days, for me, it's back to just that one goal. Finish the book, make it good, tell this story, get it written. That's the place to not wonder so much--it's more about the doing than the thinking. I like that place.
And, I begin to think, as writers, maybe we all think too much; try to plot a life the way we do a book. When, in truth, sometimes we really just have to live.