What I Have
We have everything we want. Perhaps you’ve heard this and thought, “I don’t have that publishing contract. I don’t have that car. I don’t have that beachfront property or that relationship. I have many things, but I do not have everything I want.” But when we say we want the publishing contract, or the car, or the relationship, what we really mean is we want the emotional experience of having these things, not the thing itself. The thing itself has no value; all the value is in what we believe we will feel when we have it. Every writer knows this on some level. We do not write about the fact that our character owns beachfront property; we describe what it feels like for that character to own beachfront property. What the character feels about owning that property is his experience.
If I say I want a publishing contract, I mean I want the experience of sharing something I love with other people – with an editor, and a publisher, and eventually readers. Yet I already have that experience. I had it when I wrote it. When I wrote the story, I had the feeling of bringing it to the page, of putting it into a form that someone besides me could understand. When I publish that story, I will simply experience an expanded version of what I already have, what I felt when I wrote that story.
In this way, the publishing contract is simply a way to experience more of what I already have. But if I tell myself that I do not have what I want, then I will have to look outside myself for it. Where else could it be? Not there. All I want is to feel as interested, and excited, and calm, and curious as I possibly can, and all of that is within me. No publishing contact, no house, no car, no relationship can give me that because I already have it. Just the like the stories I tell, all these things are only portals for sharing and experiencing love.
"A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.
You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com