'Spending all that time writing, nothing coming of it, must get you down.'
So said a People to me this week. Instead of changing the subject, which I did so politely that People knew I was cross, here’s how I should have replied...
True, the novels I’ve written are, right now, loved only by me and my one-man fan club. It's also true that, however much I believe in them, and whichever route I take, they may never be read by many. Writing is like that.
Yes, I own fewer shiny things than once I did. I’m no longer sure I’ll see all the faraway places. Life is riskier than it was, my future less secure. Writing is like that too.
But, you're wrong to suppose I’ve gained nothing from writing. It brings me riches most People never know.
The wonder of creating lives and even worlds.
A diet of more and more delicious words, as many as I like in a day.
Deep satisfaction in overcoming and fixing and learning and growing and moving on.
The marvel of strangers reading my stories, of my imagination joining theirs.
Firework moments: selected for publication, seeing my words on a page, hearing my words read, laughter in all the right places.
Sweet if slightly guilty pleasure of making myself giggle or cry or fall in love all over again.
A life brighter because attended to, all moments and sights and sounds and sweethearts and ideas, noticed and collected and squirreled away for writing about and enjoying anew.
Having a purpose and a priority - every single day.
Glee in doing the thing I’d rather be doing if I was doing anything else.
The hope of becoming the me I wish to be.
Unapologetic, unembarrassed pride in my pertinacity, in trying, despite the odds, to write words that will make readers love life a little more for a while.
Pertinacity, the quality of being pertinacious, is determined despite difficulties. It is adhering resolutely to purpose, perversely persistent, stubbornly tenacious. I like my pertinacity.
With work harder than People might guess, and luck greater than anyone has the right to expect, I might one day achieve the kind of writing success that a People will recognise as such.
In the meantime, I succeed every day I write, and with every submission I make, and every time a lovely reads my words and smiles. I'm not down. I'm soaring.