I have had to accept recently that I know nothing. I have no idea what anyone else is going to do or like. I have no idea how well a book will sell, or how many reads a given blog will receive. I don’t know when a publishing trend will end, and I don’t know what the next publishing trend will be. More to the point, I don’t even know what is in my best interest. I have spent my life believing I know exactly what is in my best interest. I have been certain that it would be a good thing if this agent or that editor said yes, and it would be a bad thing if they said no. I have had plans and goals, hatched in nervous hours, my future hardly something I was willing to leave to the die-roll of fate. Yet the future always arrived unscheduled and having ignored my script. My plans were a fantasy. I might as well have been planning to be a space pirate.
Worse yet, for a born-again memoirist, I don’t really know what happened yesterday. It’s a shadow play of feeling and image and thought, so near to a dream I would need only the memory of flying from my window or debating modern medicine with Count Dracula to call it that. It’s just material, is all it is. I call it reality because in retelling the past, it feels real again.
Which is all I really know: how I am feeling right now. That I know for sure, but then again only if I pay close attention. If my attention strays to the shadows of the past or my fantasies of the future, I become lost in a changing sea of what I cannot and will never know. But when I pay attention to what I am feeling right now, whether I am writing or taking a shower, I am found again, surrounded and supported by everything I know.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.