This weekend, I clicked on a trending article on facebook (as I often do) and got caught up for a good fifteen minutes by the content (as I often do). Except this time, instead of learning about Snooki’s fake tan or the existence of a life-sized Barbie doll in Russia (she’s really creepy looking), this link lead me to something that made me feel more inspired than I’ve felt in a really long time.
The moment he began to speak, I was entranced. And it wasn’t just the effect of his beautiful lilting accent or speaking voice (although that definitely helped:). It was because every piece of advice he gave had been gained through years of experience. It was also dispensed with a sense of humor and a lot of sincerity and I couldn’t help but lean forward in my chair, eagerly absorbing the priceless knowledge that Mr. Gaiman had gleaned from his eventful career.
In the closing of the commencement address, Gaiman says the best piece of advice he ever got (but never followed) was from Stephen King who remarked that Neil was doing really great work and that he should try to ‘enjoy it’.
Gaiman explained that he regretted not taking more time to enjoy where he was in the process. When all of his success came, he spent most of his time worrying and pushing himself for the next thing instead of stopping and looking around him and feeling content with where he was and what he’d accomplished.
And it occurred to me that, even if where I am in the process sucks– I can still enjoy it. Because no matter where we are in the process, there are always going to be parts of it that suck. And if we can't learn to enjoy it now, we could very well miss out later.
#1 I write. Therefore I am a writer. Amateur or unpublished or aspiring aside-Writing is what I love and when I do it, everything feels better no matter what’s going on around me. I can enjoy that.
#2 I have a mountain of rejections in my inbox. But I also have a good pile of requests. My full manuscripts are out with four agents right now and even if all of them come back with a rejection, I have those rejections because I’m out there trying– writing new material and querying and keeping at it. And, despite the difficulty, I can enjoy that knowledge.
#3 Blogging and making connections through social networks can take time away from writing (and everything else in your day to day lives). But it can also make you a stronger writer. My blog keeps me on my toes. The writers I’ve met have provided insight and support and some have even helped me better my craft. Yes, it’s easy to get time-sucked into social networking but that’s only because this community is so damn fun! And the time spent getting to know a lot of you has been just as enjoyable as #1, and much more enjoyable than #2:)
So I ask, what is your favorite part of where you are right now – whether it be in life or in writing?