Happiness versus Satisfaction

Posted on 09/15/2009

6


Sure you’re satisfied, but are you happy? Maybe you’re happy but not satisifed?

I’ve been in a dreary mood lately, probably because of all the rain we’ve been experiencing here. Five days of rain and rain and rain gets old.  Today, as I stirred up a cup of coffee, my blah feeling took on a more corporeal thought. If that’s even literally possible. I mean a thought, by its very nature is incorporeal. But the thought to form. It became something real, not just some inchoate emotion.

Whatev. You get my point, right? 

I thought about all the writer people I know who have yet to achieve two things: finding an agent, and getting a book published. Then I thought:  how many of the writers I know who are not published, would be happy to just write for their friends and family?

This led me back to the old, “What’s your goal?”

A lot of people I know say, “Getting a book published.”

Well, that’s a fine goal and all. It really is. But for some people, would just creating stories out of thin air, and putting them on paper be enough?  I know when I first started putting fingers to keyboard  (well, my first story was my sophomore year in high school. Penned into a spiral notebook.) I just had a few story ideas I wanted to get out of my head and onto the screen.  And, I wanted to WRITE A BOOK.  So many people say they want to write a book, but they either never start it or give up after chapter one because it’s just too damn hard.  Well, after writing a 200,000 word book (stop laughing!) I felt great. GREAT!  Now I just needed someone to read the darn thing(s) and tell me if it was any good or not.

Then I re-read it after making changes and broke the thing into two books and then wrote a third to make my first trilogy. Ha! I was a fantasy cliche! But who knew?

That’s when the thought of actually getting it published ran through my mind. I really thought it was good enough to publish, a damn site better than some of the other fantasy books I had read.  But alas, it was TOO cliche.  But as I started doing this, I got ideas for other stories and started working on them too. Then I got an idea for another story. And another and another.

Damn.

(the weird thing is, of the people who have read all my manuscripts, the trilogy seems to be their favorite! Maybe I need to polish that sucker up and send it out again…WAIT! What am I doing!? Stop ruminating in the middle of a blog!)

Now I’ve got 6 novel-length manuscripts, and ideas for NINE more in my head!  Good gravy.

So I ask myself: am I going to write those other nine stories out? What if they’re just for me? What if I only ever print them out on Cafe Press and send them to friends to read?  Will I be happy? Will that satisfy me?  Or MUST I get these books published in the traditional sense?  Does wanting to get published and only writing for that goal make me a poser? A sellout? Someone who only writes because he wants to try and make a buck?  We’re supposed to write for The Craft.  Does writing for The Craft make you feel happy? Or just satisfied?  Would getting that one book published make you happy?

Why do we feel this insatiable desire to send out our little babies into the harsh arena of (first) agents and (second) The World?  What is this drive that pushes us toward that? Money? Status? Validation? Why can’t we just be happy writing up a little story and sending it off to Aunt Jane and our mother?  We all started writing because we wanted to WRITE. Stephen King said he would always writer and would have, even if he’d never been published. He just is a writer.  Are you? If you are just a writer, then is writing the stories and not ever having anyone read them, enough? Will you be satisfied? Will you be happy?

I’m sure plenty of other people have blogged about this, and I’m no one special, but this thought came into my head today, so I am blogging about it.  I’ve told you in a previous post about my ultimate goal, but falls more in line with what it would take to make me feel satisfied.

Wait! This is my blog! I can blog about whatever I want!

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Posted in: Writing