The bloom is off the lily.
It was genuinely thrilling, at first. I tore into a daily blog with a blitz of stories, and of course, the novelty of all that content—and the subsequent daily posts—upped my number of visitors in a big way, if Weebly analytics is to be believed. There was a spike in web traffic, and I felt this thrill of accomplishment. I started submitting the many children’s stories I’ve written to a publisher who accepts unsolicited manuscripts, which was thrilling the first time I did it.
Now the web traffic numbers have stabilized. Writing an essay or story every day has become a daily routine. Submitting my stories to a publisher is something I do every week.
In other words, it has become a routine. Wake up. Post a story or an essay, and check my statistics for any spikes in traffic.
Then get on with the business of writing something.
It’s like any relationship, I suppose, where you learn to appreciate the joy of the little things. I still like that moment where I go from a few journal paragraphs lamenting that I have nothing to write about to the realization that I can leave out those first few paragraphs when I turn it into an essay, because I have indeed come up with something to write about. I love the emails that I get back from the publishers, where they confirm that they’ve received my manuscript, and will get back to me.
I like copying and pasting my essays and stories—which always start out as a part of my large daily journal file—and creating separate files for them, which I put in my “completed essays” or “completed stories” folder. And I love going through them each morning as I contemplate which one to post that day.
I’ve even grown to like when I start my journal entries, as I often do, with “I have nothing to write about.” Experience has shown me that if I keep writing about having nothing to write about, I will find something to write about.
Perhaps one day a publisher will accept one of my stories. Then, some day, I will hold a copy of it in my hands. That will be thrilling.
Yet even there, the initial thrill will fade. No matter how well that book does, there will never again be the first time of seeing my first book in print. Once again, it will come down to just sitting down every morning, and writing.
Yet throughout it all, there will be those little things. The taste of my first mouthful of coffee as I sit down to write. The way my fingers move across the keyboard, and the satisfying line of words that appear as I do so.
And finally, there will be, as there always is, those concluding paragraphs, where I come to it and realize that yet again, I sat down with nothing to write about, and found something worth pursuing. There will be that little pulse of satisfaction as I type the last sentences, and pat myself on the back for being able to say to myself that once again, I did something.
First steps are often the most memorable, and the most thrilling. After that, it’s often just putting one foot in front of the other. Yet there is a satisfying feeling of the pavement beneath my feet, and occasional joy that comes from seeing something that I didn’t see the day before. And above all, there is the constant, subtle, deeply satisfying feeling that I am moving forward.