For as long as I can remember I dreamt of being a writer. Alongside the dream of writing for a living was another fantasy—one half-formed, just kissing the edges of my consciousness. Life is funny sometimes, giving you exactly what you’ve want before you even knew you wanted it.
There’s been a half-baked image floating around in my brain of me sitting on the beach, a work-in-progress on my computer, a covered cabana overhead, and waiters bringing me tropical drinks with straws on a regular basis. This last week I was blessed to have gone on vacation with my family, and over the last five days as I sipped on Long Island Iced Teas and watched some of the most beautiful sunsets ever created, I stopped and took stock. In that moment, I was completely satisfied. There wasn’t a single thing more I could wish for.
As writers we tend to project—I’ll be happy when the book is done, when the series has ended, when the book sales reach a certain money amount. We tend to think the happiness is in the completion. Sure, we finish the novel, complete the book of poems, post the final blog, and then instead of celebrating we move the goal post. We push our happiness out and set our eyes on a new point in the horizon. As soon as we finish one book the next begs for attention. The words tease us, promising this time they’ll come so much easier. This is the time the muse will flow without stop, the golden fairies will dance, and our inner Nora Roberts will appear. And we think this time will be different. I’ll be content when I’m done with this.
Yet, here’s the thing. Our life is about the work.
Writing is an action, a verb requiring of us to do something. It will never be done, never be enough, never be perfect, and yet as writers we need to be content with this—with the process. When we choose to write or in some cases when writing chooses us, we agreed to the life of continuous incompletion. I read in a book recently that artists are like creative sharks. The moment we stop swimming (writing, singing, acting, painting) we die.
I’ve been blessed to have been able to travel to various parts of the world, and everywhere I’ve gone I’ve taken the tools of my trade—pen and paper. I’ve written in the desert and the rain forest, mountains and the sea side. On planes, on a train, and most definitely in a car. Writers write. We live in the flux. We must find our happiness in the moment—an unfinished book on our computer, a notebook filled with purple prose, a stack of to-be-read pile by our bedsides.
So, as awesomely beautiful and awe inspiring as it was to fulfill my fantasy of writing on the beach, what I know for sure is… that moment came from me. I can take that moment, that feeling, anywhere.
I am a masterpiece in progress, a symphony in flux, a canvas primed and framed.
I am the moment, and I am grateful.