It was spring, but it was summer I wanted,
The warm days, and the great outdoors.
It was summer, but it was fall I wanted, The colorful leaves, and the cool, dry air.
It was fall, but it was winter I wanted, The beautiful snow, and the joy of the holiday season.
It was winter, but it was spring I wanted, The warmth and the blossoming of nature.
I was a child, but it was adulthood I wanted, The freedom and respect.
I was 20, but it was 30 I wanted, To be mature, and sophisticated.
I was middle-aged, but it was 20 I wanted, The youth and the free spirit.
I was retired, but it was middle-age I wanted, The presence of mind without limitations.
My life was over, and I never got what I wanted.
I first heard this poem recited by a speaker, and when I looked into it further, I found it was written by 14-year-old Jason Lehman. What a lot of insight for such a young man.
I think that in our “go get ‘em” culture, we are programmed with dissatisfaction. In a lot of ways, this is the goal of marketing—to make your audience feel that they need something more. While this can be good for your book sales, it can by hard on your experience of life.
How many times have you thought, “if I just had [blank], I would be happy.” Then you get that thing, but now you’ve set your bar higher. Does the same thing happen with your writing life? Have you ever had these thoughts:
If I could just finish my outline…
If I could just get through the final line of editing…
If I could just see my book in print (or on the screen)…
If I could just see my book on bookstore shelves…
If I could just sell # (whatever that number may be for you to feel accomplished)…
If I could just get another book written…
I think that looking ahead is great motivation and is necessary for you to be a successful publisher. But I hope it doesn’t come at the expense of you enjoying whatever stage of the process you are in right now.
If you are in the writing stage, I hope you can enjoy the endless possibilities of a blank page. If you are in editing, I hope you can enjoy the skills your editor has at making your book a little more polished. If you have a final product in your hands, I hope you can enjoy this momentous occasion. If you are in the trenches of marketing, I hope you can enjoy the fact that you have the honor of promoting your heart’s passion. If you are ready to move on to your next project, well, I wish you lots of persistence and stamina!
Above all, I hope you find joy in each stage of the process. And take some time to enjoy the summer, too!