It’s hard to believe, but I’m going to be a published author. I’ve known that for a while now, but it still hasn’t fully sunk in. In the midst of the craziness of life I don’t allow myself to get truly excited by the fact that in just a couple of weeks I will have accomplished one my life’s goals. Rather than rejoicing, it’s easier for me to spend most of my time worrying about whether or not people will buy the book, and then if they do will they enjoy it. Will they tell their friends or will it be a flop? Will I be a failure as an author if my first book barely sells? Do I have what it takes to be a successful writer? How do you even define success?
I get so caught up in asking all these questions and thinking about the unknown in the future that I forget that I’m in the middle of living out my dream. Ever since I was a boy saturated in the worlds of Narnia, Middle Earth, and the Hardy Boys I dreamed of being a writer. In 4th grade I won $10 in a school writing contest. Each grade submitted stories to be read and voted on by the grade below them. I will never forget my sheer joy when a group of boys from the grade below me came up to me in recess and told me how much they loved my story. It was that moment, not the $10 that made me want to write. On a side note, that was the same year I misspelled “sandwich” and got out in the first round of the spelling bee. Thankfully not being able to spell doesn’t disqualify you from being a writer.
Today I saw the cover of my upcoming book, Finding Tom, and got giddy with excitement. It was the same feeling I had as a 4th grade boy. I was reminded that being an author isn’t about the money but about bringing joy to people through story. I was reminded that it’s OK to enjoy the present. There are and always will be a million things to be anxious about that are out of my control, but today I’m choosing not to focus on them. I’m choosing to be thankful for this incredible opportunity and to enjoy the present.