Who do I think I am?
I’m not sure it’s served me well, especially in the “social media” era when it’s so easy for us to make connections. I’ve opened up a little more as I’ve come to realize that being a writer is a core part of my existence, and it can’t really be separated out from the rest of my life.
Truth is, a writer’s life is pretty boring, unless we’re getting drunk and shooting ourselves in the head, or else we’re important enough to dis Oprah and have people actually notice. But I’m okay with a boring life, because mine is an internal life of reflection, not high-stakes adventure or around-the-clock thrills.
When I’m not on the job, I spend a lot of time writing, and this year a good bit of time promoting my books. The digital era and taking responsibility for finding my audience means I have to stay creative and keep building if I want my words to matter. Because they don’t matter until someone reads them.
But I also believe in a simple existence, as befitting my Taoist principals. I don’t have any debt besides the house payment, and I almost always pay extra to chip down the mortgage, because that’s my main financial goal right now.
I have two chickens. I had 14 at one time, but when I was away on honeymoon, many were carried off. Two is just about right for eggs, but I will probably add one more.
I already feel like I am “living the dream.” From time to time I will be out in the garden, and I’ll say, “Hmm, even if I had that big movie deal, I’d still be right out here anyway.” I guess that part of wanting to get rich selling books is already taken care of. I don’t measure success as a quantity anymore, though it’s tempting when you can check your sales numbers, ranking, and all the other competitive lists out there.
I measure success as quality. I tell stories. I live well. I try not to hurt anyone, and I follow a practice of compassionate self-reliance–take care of myself and do just a little extra for the person out there who can’t do that.
Not so spectacular, not so romantic, not so extraordinary. It’s who I think I am.