Do you ever think to yourself, “Once (FILL IN THE BLANK), then I will be happy”? I sure know plenty of people who said it, but no one who was happy when (THE BLANK) happened.
You may find a new job, and the new boss may be different from the old one, but you will stay the same old you. If you worry when looking for an agent, do you think you’ll stop once you find one? You’ll find a new thing to worry about because you like to worry.
There never comes a moment in life where you draw the line and say, “Now I made it. This is more than I need. I can be happy for the rest of my days.”
The only happy writers out there aren’t the ones who made it. They’re the ones who’ve enjoyed the journey, no matter how messed up it sometimes was.
This place you’re in right now? Learn to appreciate it, and it will take where you want to go. But don’t put your wellbeing on hold.
Enjoy what you do.
Speaking From Experience
I know I can sometimes sound as if I’m quoting the latest self-help hit, but I speak from experience.
My life has recently taken an exciting turn. I had a well-paying corporate job that left me plenty of time to write, then, after 11 years of work, I got hit by the organizational changes truck, and my role got eliminated. My severance was a hefty sum. It meant I now had the resources to write full time and the whole thing happened right when my editing business started picking up speed. I don’t think you can get any nearer to perfect circumstances.
Now, you might think to yourself, that’s bloody amazing! And yet, I can tell you that the elation lasted… oh, about three days. My attitude towards writing hasn’t changed one bit. I still wrote as much (or as little) as I did before, and was no happier than when I still held a corporate job. Nothing has changed.
It reminds me of how I thought selling my first story would feel versus how it felt when it happened. A big grin for an hour, and then back to normal because I had to buy groceries for dinner.
Writers Make a Big Deal Out of It
Statistically, writers are probably no happier or unhappier than the rest of the population. We just like to make a big deal out of it.
We shouldn’t. The most important skill you can learn is the ability to appreciate where you are right now at least as much as where you’re headed.