I’m back. I sent some proposal revisions to my agent and completed an article that should appear online in June sometime. And I have a bouquet of actual lilacs in the house, which you know makes everything almost as good as Diet Coke and a Milky Way.
Michael said this would happen, you know. My first writing goal was so small. I just needed one person, “Just ONE PERSON, Michael,” actually and officially IN the publishing business to tell me I could write, preferably by publishing something I had written or becoming my agent. Then it happened. I got an article published online, and it had readers and everything! That very day an agent came to my blog and asked to talk with me about my writing. I sent her my blood, sweat, tears, and beating heart – that is, I sent her the manuscript for my memoir – the only manuscript I had completed. And. She. Wanted it.
So that was it, right? Dream fulfilled? “Michael, I don’t need a huge book deal. I don’t need it to be a bestseller. And I never have to get another book published in my life. But if I could just find a publisher for this. If I could just get that one book between actual cover art and sitting on the shelves.”
You know what Michael did then? He talked to me about hunting. He laughed at me and said I was a crazy person if I thought the next if-only wasn’t waiting on the tip of my tongue the moment the current one was fulfilled. (His analogy had to do with hunting trophy bucks and elk and stuff, which I am loathe to discuss lest PETA, Carrie Underwood, or my vegetarian friend Anne Dayton is reading).
I knew he was probably right, but I was as determined to prove him wrong as I was to prove Dad wrong the night before I turned fourteen when I was bouncing off the walls with excitement and he promised I wouldn’t feel quite that way the night before I turned forty. Okay, I’m pretty sure Dad’s going to turn out VERY right about that one. But as for the writing, I’m seriously enjoying the ride. I’m still completely giddy that I have an agent. I do plan to get that first book published. I’m convinced it will happen. But I’m determined not to turn right around and decide that my life won’t be complete without the next record buck – or, you know, published book in my case.
However, that book wasn’t even the first project I’d begun. And I’m starting to see what Michael really meant. There will always be more to write, and I suppose I’ll always wonder if I’m getting there fast enough.
This week I’m going to try to remember the advice I’ve given on this very blog. It’s not about what all I have accomplished at the end of life, it’s how I pursued each and every moment. Happy Monday.