SpringFling, the Chicago North Writers Conference has been put to bed for another year, yet the excitement still sizzles through my veins. Nothing of great consequence happened to me, so I can't say I'm reeling from a wonderful pitch or even being asked for a partial. It's more the comraderie I felt with my fellow conference attendees. Special bonds developed in the halls between workshops, at lunch and dinner, even when standing in line for the ladies room. It's a feeling I'm reluctant to let go. I like being connected with other writers.
The "Big Name" speakers were wonderful, but they were not the ones who lifted me up. I felt privileged to be in their presence, yes, but the local gals, the authors I already knew and the ones I had heard of, the very ones who held workshops were by far the most inspirational for me. Their stories reached me on an intimate level as they shared aspects of their journey as a writer. They talked about the hard times, the dry times, the epiphanies as well as their fears. And I learned a very important lesson.
It's a lesson I hadn't given much thought, but know I've been naive not to have ever pondered it before. In the writing world, authors discuss their journey as a writer. We begin, we travel the bumpy roads through good reviews and bad turns or events. We learn, we adjust, we wonder what it all means. But do we ever reach our destination?
What is my destination as a writer? Even Debbie Macomber, the fabulous author and a guest speaker at SpringFling, admitted she is only as good as her next novel. As a writer I understand that concept, fear it even. But that doesn't answer the question of what is my destination as a writer.
My goal is to write the very best novel I am capable of, but that says nothing of my destination. I'm on this road to recognition, picking up tidbits to assist me as a writer, help me in pursuit of my dream to become an accomplished novelist. But what is my destination?
After deep thinking and some oh, "dah!" type of recollecting, I've discovered my destination is not important. The journey, the now part of my life is what matters. What I do today affects my view of tomorrow. My today's journey is the most important. I can rev my engines and zoom through my day without a care, or I can plop down and contemplate my strategies, planning out plots, or more pitches and queries. What I do today matters a great deal. The steps I take as a writer are important. I can intentionally plan to enjoy each moment, decide to control my enthusiasm or let it fly. It's all up to me. How I survive my journey is the only control I have as a writer.
So it doesn't really matter where or what my destination is. I'm on a journey, not really knowing where the road may lead, but I lay out my path, one that doesn't seem to be very well traveled, and that's okay. I like adventures. The unknown holds a certain amount of intrigue I find fascinating. And so I tip-toe onward, careful, but not too cautious. Afterall, writers love surprises. It is, what stories are made of. My destination is unknown, but my gut tells me it will be fun getting there. Challenging too.
I'm excited already. Today is a great day to continue on my way.
Til next time ~