The Author as Orchard
Of all the wisdom conferred by Joni Rodgers, one of the most meaningful to me has been the statement, "You are an orchard, not a factory."
Ever year about this time, I need the reminder, especially as I gear up for RWA's national conference. I love this annual meeting, which offers a terrific chance to meet with my agent, visit with writer friends, pick up important news, and absorb some terrific tips, tricks, and the general creative vibe that permeates the air.
But confession time... the conference also tends to make me anxious. As is the case with most authors, I have a competitive Type A personality lurking beneath my cell-thin layer of Zen cool, and, surrounded by all these super-accomplished, incredibly productive and successful women makes me feel like a fraud, a slacker, and a slowpoke.
Intellectually, I know I'm not. I know that out of the attendees, there are a good many who would give a kidney to reach my level of success and productivity. I also know there are people going through such tough times, I should be smacked into the next ZIP code for daring to feel crappy. But that's the way it is, and I'm told that nearly everyone, from the newest of the newbies to New York Times bestsellers, struggles with the same emotions.
So I remind myself, I'm flowering and bearing fruit. I might not be mass-producing mega-hits, but I'm soaking in the rain and sunshine and creating my own unique stories in my season, no one else's. And that's all I have to give the world.
So what about the rest of you? Ever struggle with these feelings? If so, how do you cope?