Today I saw the notice of the San Miguel Writer’s Conference 2020-21 on Facebook. And my mind started spinning with “what-ifs” and “how can I’s”. Steam came out of my head and it screeched to a halt, and then I breathed, again.
These days I seem to have to remind myself to pause a lot and ask myself… What the hell am I doing?
I am not writing a best seller. I am writing a memoir. That is the goal.
And we will see where that leads and be open to it.
If one person reads it, or a hundred or several thousand, I will have achieved my goal.
If it makes it onto a list, great. If not, that is ok too.
I had a life out of control. With calendars and responsibilities. With meetings and work weekends.
Then it all crashed and left me in a puddle on a rutted road.
I don’t want that again. Ever!
And I figured it out an hour ago.
I am great when my life is not counting minutes. I am open to a change in plans when I didn’t even have any in the first place.
It’s ok to just write.
It’s ok to not write a best seller.
It’s ok to not fill my time with workshops and retreats that I can’t afford.
It’s ok to just get my message across.
I don’t want another job. I’m not going to treat my writing like it is one. I know I should. All those essays on Medium tell me that. If I want to be successful.
But what does success mean to me? And what am I striving for?
What is the big picture? For today, next month, next year?
I like my stories, and I have a lot of them. It has been a weird life. I enjoy remembering parts of it so I can crow like a rooster. I am here. I made it. Maybe someone else can benefit.
In some respects, it is hard to look at the past and dig up the feelings that attach to those moments. It has taken twenty years of therapy to become one with them. To not let them take over my life anymore. To just have them settled somewhere in my mind.
I am taking it one story at a time.
I love having ZOOM meetings with other writers. Some I am in awe of. I would not have met these wonderful women without this contact. That is pretty cool. It is certainly keeping my mind busy during COVID. I think I am kind of cool too.
I went through the list of authors for individual consultations for the conference. Looking at their history and bio. They are all so busy. They have done great things. Written good works. Offer classes.
But I never want to be one of them.
And at this late start of sixty-two years old, that isn’t even a possibility.
That is a good thing for me to recognize. In the old days, I would have been searching for an agent by now. Writing an acceptance letter. It wouldn’t matter that I hadn’t written the book yet. I liked to skip ahead.
Today I am sitting at the kitchen table with my loving husband, looking out over San Miguel. Writing this post.
He just gave me twenty pesos, I made money writing.
I like this life. I don’t have to be anything.
I can want or hope, or desire. But I don’t HAVE to. I am perfectly content.
For a Bipolar 1, ADHD’er that is a pretty good lesson. I am learning them all the time.