I’ve read and heard a lot lately, hence, I’ve been thinking about…Joy! I have a friend who lives from one joy-filled moment to the next. She sucks the breath and life out of her grandchildren (they love it by the way). She’s a joy junkie. Without joyful moments, one after the other, she lapses into depression. I’m not saying she can totally control this, but she doesn’t recognize that there is even an issue as she lives for these moments, hopping like a rabbit from joy to joy.
The thought brings me to writers. They live for validation. Most of them. I’m one of them. I love nothing better than someone who loves my stories, or my clients’ stories. On and on. It makes what we do for a living have meaning. Says we have a REAL job. But once book one is published, we move on. Book two, book three, and more. We are validation junkies.
And even though I love that thought, I have to remember that as a writer…a human, we have to be more than simply published authors. If that is ONLY what we live for, then we need to re-evaluate our human side. Is that all we do anymore? Do we write only for the joy of publication? Confirmation of our ability? Advance? Why do we write?
Joy has been on my heart a lot lately. When do we feel it? Why do we feel it? Must we always feel it? Do we bounce from one joyful idea to the next?
For Christians, our joy should come from Christ. It’s nice to get that contract, but what if a contract is never in our hands? Will our joy pfffft like a burst balloon? Will we slip into depression if we aren’t the next Dekker, Mary Higgins Clark?
Sometimes, God gives us a story to write for ourselves…did you hear that? For ourselves. It could be nothing more than a lesson we need to learn, and by writing the story, we learn it. Perhaps it’s for the neighbor to whom we give the manuscript to critique for us. Or a critique partner. The book may never see the light of day beyond that person. Were we meant to write it? Absolutely. It fulfilled its mission.
Will you only feel joy when the first book is published? And then the next.
Think about why you write.