Yesterday evening I was blessed by my co-workers celebrating my retirement. What a wonderful time, although I must admit it was a litte bittersweet. I was smacked in the face with emotions I thought I had processed, but apparently that will take longer than I anticipated.
I've been a psychologist for about twenty years. There were times that I thought nothing was better than this and there were times I tought I couldn't get away fast enough. My specialty in psychosis and children made it a very stressful career. If I summed it up this is what my clients taught me.
1) Enjoy your life in the moment. Don't wait for it to get better.
2) Accept life as it comes, fighting it doesn't change anything.
3) Living with yourself can be a real adventure.
4) There is always room for grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
So what does this have to do with writing? Everything! I have learned to enjoy every manuscript I work on, whether writing my own or critiquing someone else's. Life is what it is, and rejections letters are really an opportunity to make what I have written better or to point out what I have yet to learn about the craft. My life has been an adventure and I don't plan on changing any of that. Watching the way a plot unfolds or a character grows is more than awesome. Allowing myself the space to grow, fumble, and miss the mark as a writer are opportunities to extend to myself the grace and mercy I readily extend to others. And forgiveness is for those professionals who haven't yet realized my genius...just kidding.
As I begin this journey of total commitment to the learning and execution of the craft, I am filled with excitment and anxiety. I guess I'm approaching writing like everything else I've done...wade in until I'm waist deep then dive in and head for the deep end.
So here I go. Let's see what happens