I’m feeling profoundly sad and shocked today, my confusion about priorities cleared in an instant to one single thing.
I was very self-absorbed this morning about my writing goals. I was lamenting the changing world of publishing and how I couldn’t hope to understand it. One of my manuscripts was requested by a couple of agents and I was obsessing about when I’d hear replies from them. My head swirled with a conversation last week with some critique group members who’ve self-published, one who’s found modestly decent success. I was wondering where to begin today and how to prioritize.
Should I write on my current manuscript? Should I revise a previous one? Maybe I should be doing some more research into self-publishing. Or maybe I could explore the information out there about indie publishers?
All of these questions came to a screeching halt in my head like the proverbial needle on a record. My fourteen-year-old daughter, voice shaking, called me to come upstairs. She’d just found out her soccer coach of many years had lost his twelve-year-old daughter in a tragic boating accident. Immediately, I felt sick and shaky, heartbroken for this family.
Priorities are an interesting thing, aren’t they? You’re caught up in things that are important until you’re reminded of what’s Important.
Years ago, I heard a quote that, as an aspiring writer, I found impossible to understand.
“If in 100 years I am only known as the man who invented Sherlock Holmes then I will have considered my life a failure.”
~Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Today, I understand completely.
Writing is everything to me. But it sure ain’t Everything. No amount of writing success could matter to me without my family. Without love, it’s all for nothing, and I risk typing away like a noisy gong in the solitude of my office.
Today, my priorities are straight. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hug my children.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1