Sunday, May 3, 2009


happiness is a journey, not a destination . . . Souza

for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way. so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.

The above words are on my coffee mug. I look a these words every morning. I remember every day that not only is happiness a journey, but so is life and, ultimately, so is writing.

I think that I (possibly we, but I'm going to try and stay away from generalizations, for the sake of all English teachers in the Universe) sometimes forget the part about the journey. I get too caught up in the writing, the searching of blogs, the endless revisions of the query letter, the frustration of the generic - not right for me - response, and so many other things. These things are the obstacles that get in the way (not that I'm going to stop blogging).

The writing is everything to me. I love to write. I love the journey I take each time I sit down in front of the computer to write. I find happiness in my writing. You see, writing is part of my journey to happiness. It is not an obstacle to happiness. Oh, no, far from it (okay, I ended a sentence with a preposition - so much for those English teachers)! Writing is just one of the stepping stones on that path to happiness.

So what I am trying to say? Live for the moment. Quit obsessing about the future moment of publication. Invest in yourself, invest in your writing, and - somehow - find happiness along the way. Forget about the doubt (yeah, I know, easier said than done), forget about the endless mountains of revision looming before you, forget about the potential jealousy of other writers. We (gasp, horror of horrors, a generalization just occurred) have enough to worry about as we attempt to hone our talent, without adding a few other things.

Enjoy the moments you write, the moments of creation when happiness truly exists. Accept the obstacles for what they truly are - momentary detours during our journey to happiness.

Life is not about things being easy every single day. We must endure the obstacles, get past them, and continue our journey.

With that line of thought, I'm going to end this post with a quote from Catherine Cash Spellman's Bless the Child . . .

"What will I do?" she cried into the hot desert wind.

"You will fight against Fate and the Devil and the world and God and everybody, if you must! That's where the dignity lies. You can't control what they do to you. Only what you do in return. This is no fair game we've been sent to play here. Hateful things happen. People die. People suffer. People are born with no limbs, no sight, no hearing. Courage! That's all there is!

We must have courage to keep going, day after day, as we write, as we journey to happiness, and as we journey toward publication.



Robyn said...

COURAGE! Live your dream. Bravo, Scott!

Litgirl01 said...

Wow ...great post! This is something I've also recently realized. Thank you for sharing! :-) And thank you for thinking about us English teachers. LOL

Lady Glamis said...

So, so true. You know how I feel about the journey and enjoying it along the way. The hard rocky roads are often the most worth it. :)

Scott said...

Robyn - I live it every time I sit down to write, oh, and every time that a thought about writing pops into my head.

Litgirl01 - you're welcome. One of my favorite college English professors once told her class that we had to follow all the rules, until we became writers, and then we could do what we wanted . . . within reason. She also allowed us that freedom with our essays, as long as we made a notation near the broken grammar rule telling her why we did it, and providing justification. She was a really cool teacher. Still, every time I generalize, end in a preposition, or do some other crazy thing, I think of her and some of my other English teachers.

Lady Glamis - I agree that the rocky roads are most worth it.

James Oh said...

The ship is safe to park at harbor, but this is the ship is built for. Keep moving, Scott.
Grace and peace to you.

N A Sharpe said...

It definitely is a journey worth pursuing. Follow that dream. I love writing, it is very rewarding when you get to share it with others, but even the stories that you may write for your eyes only (at least until they grow up to be the great stories we know they have the potential to be)are self-fulfilling and I can't imagine life without that feeling. Great post!

NA Sharpe