February, the Month with Too Many R's
This is the profound realization I had this morning: Wow, it's February.
Why does February have that extra R? Don't answer that, because I really don't actually care. I'm just rambling.
I've had my not-quite-four-year-old daughter home from school with me all week, which has me musing about the passage of time and how it can simultaneously feel so fast and so slow. It's like that saying about staying at home with young children goes--the days pass too slowly and the years pass too quickly.
But now I'm thinking of that saying in terms of my development as a writer. I had all these grand plans for myself. Career goals and such. January marked 4 years since my first book hit the shelves, and soon I will be coming up on the five year mark since I sold my first book.
I'm still here, still fumbling along, still the same writer with some of the same problems and a few new ones. I have not seen any wild, overnight successes, but I'm grateful to still be rowing the boat blindly in what sort of feels like the right direction. The years have passed too quickly since that first sale, and yet the days alone at the keyboard can feel long and relentless.
But in the face of all those goals I put on paper way back when and have yet to acheive, I have to laugh. It occurs to me more and more that all we really have as writers are these lonely days with our writing. That's where the reward is. That's where the challenge is. That's where the action is, slow and tedious as it might be.
Outward success is fleeting and hard to hold onto, but if you can find your real satisfaction in the work itself, if you can accept that being a writer really is...simple as it may sound...really all about sitting down and writing, you've got the one thing that will sustain you throughout this arduous writing life.
Five years will pass. Ten, fifteen, twenty, and one day you will look up from your keyboard (or whatever it is we're writing with twenty years from now--thought recognition software?) and realize it's February again, and you're on the other side of winter again, and then, simply, you will get back to work.