Living In The Question
It seems to me that I’m always in a learning curve. When I wanted to write a novel, I first had to learn how to be a better writer, so I took courses and workshops. Then computers came along and I knew that if I wanted keep up, I needed to learn how to use one – an experience fraught with tears and frustration. With computers came social media which offers millions of opportunities to sell yourself, and be sold to. Now, I want to get my book published and I find myself in yet another deep learning curve. I know some, but not all I need to know to get my book published. In this, I will have to learn on the job. In each instance, there’s a plethora of answers to all of the questions, but which is the right answer for me? I don’t know about you, but I feel like I should know the answers already. I don’t like not knowing.
Anyone worth their salt can find all the answers to publishing a book by googling it on-line. That’s when I get completely overwhelmed with all the information out there: Do this, or do that. This is what worked for me. Self-publish this way; no that way. Publish traditionally. But remember that either way you will have to market yourself, plan your own book launch, sell, teach, talk…. Aaah! I want to scream. What should I do? I want the answers now.
We live in a world that reveres answers. We want to know what preschool our child is going to. In high school kids are expected to know what they want to be when you grow up. Then there’s university where you have to be one step ahead of, what’s next? School is full of questions that go with the correct answer. But what if you don’t have the correct answer?
Some questions don’t have the answers: What is God? What is the meaning of life? Is love worth the risk? The answer will differ depending on your own personal experience of life, and your own personal truth. And that truth can change as you change. Yet we continue to ask the questions. We have this hunger for clarity, to understand, to know what’s going to happen before it does. When a person is in the hospital, we want the doctor to estimate the outcome. The same thing happens during a political election. We want to know ahead of time who will win. But all this questioning is tiring.
Now, here I am struggling with my own questions about publishing. I long for clarity, and well, answers as to how it’s all going to work out before I launch myself into the fray. But there are too many variables. And then I have to remind myself that maybe it’s OK to be in the question. That I don’t need all the answers right now. That all the things I need will show up when they are supposed to. Sounds too simplistic doesn’t it? New Age even. But I believe illumination will come and all I have to do is to take a deep breath and take the first step, then another, and another, and so on. Then like ripples in a pond, it will set my book in motion into the wider world of more questions and answers. So perhaps it really is best that I learn right now to be comfortable living in the question. Because over time, I will grow into the answer.