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Life . . . A Journey, Not A Destination June 15, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

The joy of writing, for me, and countless other writers, lies in the act of creation . . . in the day-to-day action of writing:

*the click-clack of keys on the keyboard

*the exchange of ideas with others

*the race to get thoughts recorded before they “evaporate into the ether”

* the polishing and honing required to convey our words with clarity

In contrast, the destination of print publication, for me at least, adds little to the equation ~ it’s a bit of an empty victory, coming as it does so long after we crafted the creations in question. 

I often suspected that seeing my name in print would be nothing more than a momentary happiness booster.

My suspicions were correct. This past year, I added three anthologies to my bookcase which include a few of my musings on life, partnered with my name in print.

On receipt of each, I glanced over the printed words to ensure accurate type-setting, nodded upon seeing that my name had been spelled correctly, found a place for the volume on my bookcase, and quickly turned my attention back to the real joy of writing . . . immersing myself in the play of words on the computer screen.

Others have described a similar experience ~ looking forward to seeing their books appear in print, with their names on the cover, only to find the pleasure ephemeral and fleeting.

Life is a journey, not a destination. 

The joy of life is found in the act and art of creation, the day-to-day pleasures and experiences, and the journey of adventure and discovery. 

When we convince ourselves that reaching a set destination (be it publication, fame, or fortune) is a pre-requisite to our happiness, we are apt to be disappointed ~ since the rewards we envision, if they materialize at all, often feel less like rewards and more like dead ends. 

Happiness is not waiting for us at the end of the road . . . it’s found here and now, by enjoying each step along the way! 

Related posts:  Pursue Distractions * Progress, Not Perfection * The Script for Scripps * Going To The Living Green ExpoExistential Angst * A Writer’s Life For Me *  Five Easy (Albeit Practically Useless) Tips * Austen & Dickens Had It Easy * Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


1. agatha82 - June 15, 2010

Looking forward to seeing my name in print one day, not published yet but I haven’t even tried to submit my work yet, so it’s early days 🙂
P.S I did get a drawing published once, and seeing it with my name underneath was very nice indeed.

nrhatch - June 15, 2010

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . . I wanted to be a famous rock star.

Then I realized the value of my anonymity.

The price of fame is a loss of freedom ~ because what you do becomes front page news.

Of course, maybe I’d feel differently if the commission checks were pouring in from my publications. They aren’t. : )

Making a living while playing with words would be grand ~ but, even if I KNEW I would never earn a dime for my efforts, I’d keep sitting down at the keyboard to write . . .because writing fills my heart with joy.

theonlycin - June 16, 2010

Well put Nancy, exactly how I feel.

Joanne - June 16, 2010

As Abraham-Hicks would say it, you are living “in the Vortex” when you are practicing what you love doing for the simple joy of doing it…

2. Barbara Gunn - June 15, 2010

I am so happy to find someone else who finds that the happiness is in the creating. I thought I was just a little weird that I don’t really care to be famous as long as I have the freedom to express my view and share my experiences. (My first published book was a thrill for a brief time until the novelty wore off!)

nrhatch - June 15, 2010

An excellent quote by Stephen King in On Writing (p. 219) . . .

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting Happy, okay? Getting happy.

Some of this book – perhaps too much – has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it – and perhaps the best of it – is a permission slip: you can, you should and if you are brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art.

The Water is free. So drink.

Drink and be filled up.”

3. nrhatch - June 15, 2010

Some people say “Keep your eyes on the prize.” I disagree.

When your eyes are stuck on the prize, you’re going to keep stumbling and crashing into things. If you really want to get ahead, you’ve got to keep your eyes focused on the path. ~ Russell Simmons

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