I’d like you to take a moment and imagine a meditating rock. Try again. No, no, you are just imagining a plain rock right now. I want you to imagine a meditating rock. Well of course there is a difference. A plain rock just lies there, discontent with its surroundings, and mocks the civilizations and ant highways passing it by in the course of thousands or even millions of years. Every once in a while, the odd earthquake or mudslide gets it rattled and sometimes even moving, but usually not where it wanted to go. This causes the rock to turn disgruntled and start to chip, and then it rubs everyone the wrong way, which results in even more erosion. So eventually the rock completely disappears through its own doing, and frankly most in this world are kinda happy that there is one obstacle less in their lives.
Why all this talk about rocks (none-meditating ones)? Because that is exactly what an author can morph into during the process of writing a book. Writing a book and self-publishing it take place on a completely different time plane, compared to how our modern lives usually play out. We are very much programmed for a fast-paced schedule and instant gratification, which is why being an author takes some growing used to. In my case it took about two years to complete “The Scribe”, and another six months to edit it and get everything set for publication. However, once that is all complete, you find yourself only at the beginning of another phase, which is getting the word out.
In short, books require a lot of patience, which brings us back to the rock, and it’s definitely good to belong to the rock family.
You work a lot, and yet you also have to do a whole lot of waiting, and sometimes it feels that your surroundings are not picking up on your enthusiasm. Let’s be honest, when you tell people that you are writing a book, and this only slightly changes once you’ve finished it, the response is not always exactly euphoric. So many people think about wanting to write something at some point in their life. Of those only very few ever put pen to paper, even fewer write beyond a handful of pages, and yet again even fewer actually finish writing an entire book that has a beginning, a middle and an end. So the cautious reactions are quite understandable. But if you do see it through, congratulations. You have beyond any doubt proven your patience, you rock.
But for some that journey can be like the rock I mentioned above. Patience begins to look a lot like stubbornness, and you are only hurting yourself with it. Some get to the end, which is great, but by the time they reach it, they are also very frustrated and edgy due to the lack of immediate feedback and instant gratification. And this can even happen right before reaching the finish line, causing some to abandon their book altogether and just dissolve into a different field of work, which is a real shame because they have already achieved so much.
The extent of success of any literary work cannot be foreseen, but the joy of the process can. This is your project, not something your boss has randomly dropped on your desk or assigned you to. So enjoy the decisions you make, because in the end that is your instant gratification. Your freedom to make decisions, to tackle obstacles in your way, to see something you have imagined come to life. Hopes, fears, doubts, frustrations, learning new skills (of which not all come easy) – these will always be part of the writing process, but don’t let any brief challenge or hiccup that can arise pull you down indefinitely.
So now let’s try it again. I’d like you to take a moment and imagine a meditating rock. It lies somewhere patiently and curiously observes the world that is moving so quickly around it. Sometimes civilizations come by that it enjoys, sometimes it’s a barbarian horde with lots of horses – well-fed horses. Those ant highways can be a nuisance and bug you, but they cannot really get under your skin, can they? And chances are that those earthquakes and mudslide are just as likely to get you to a hard place as they are to a very nice one. Who knows, maybe when the right time has come you even end up finding yourself on a nice green plot with a few trees that protect and shelter you.