I work at a canopy tour company. We do zip line tours. I spend the day swinging through trees and making people laugh. Almost no one there knows I’m a writer, and they definitely don’t know I launched an eBook this week, or that it was fairly successful.
And I hope they never find out.
Yesterday, I drove to work early. It was sunny outside, not too cold. This is December? I thought.
I thought about the launch of my eBook. I thought about how many subscribed to the Write Practice. I thought about how many bought the book. I was happy so many did. I was upset it wasn’t more. I realized I was miserable.
I once heard Sean Astin, the actor who played Rudy and Samwise, tell a story about an actor friend of his who goes to cabin for a week every time he finishes a part and grieves. It takes him a week. After that he goes home, and is fine. He said no one who has “made it” in Hollywood feels like they’ve made it.
You always will want more success.
I think every writer who has ever published a book has, at some point, felt this way. It’s great that people liked the book, the author thinks, but wouldn’t it have been nice if it’d sold a thousand more copies? That other writer, he sold twice as many as me. Why can’t I be like him?
You will never have enough success.
I work at a canopy tour company. I’m glad my coworkers don’t know about my blog because life is about more than a blog. Life is about more than an eBook or a publishing deal or a bestseller or a full-time writing career or even one person saying you changed their life with your words. What I’m saying is life is about more than success (even the right kind of success). Success just isn’t enough.
Six days a week we write. We publish ebooks. They do well or they do poorly. We write blog posts. People read them or they don’t. We strive for success.
But one day a week (at least here at the Write Practice), we stop. We rest. We don’t write or publish or blog or tweet or Facebook (I wrote this yesterday).
One day a week strive for “enough.” One day a week we let life be satisfying. We don’t ask for more. We take what we have and enjoy it. You will never have enough. That is until you decide you do.
After work yesterday, I started to drive home. I got to the bridge and just before I was about to cross, a red-tailed hawk flew low over the bridge. He landed on the railing. I stopped my car and watched.
He must have heard my brakes scratch because he looked at me and his yellow eye saw into my soul. I had never before seen a hawk so close. Then, he opened his wings and dropped low over the stream that runs into the heart of Georgia. What is success compared to moments like these?