Publication is the Goal

I haven’t been honest with you, dear readers. But take heart because I haven’t been completely honest with myself either. Until now.

My last post was a sweet, esoteric, zen-rific ditty about “The Path Is the Goal.”

Yeah, no.

I mean, yes of course, the path is the goal… BUT, my ultimate goal is publishing my novel. I want to sell my novel. Period.

I have learned over the years that it’s vital for a person’s sanity to enjoy and appreciate the trek it takes to reach one’s goal; my last post was as much to remind myself of that as well as the millions of you reading along. In my case, it’s a curlicue path toward a golden bookstore, where I will pick my hardbound book up off the New Fiction shelf, and hold said book in my shaking hands. For you, it might be hearing your song on the radio, or buying a house, or landing your dream job, or walking up the aisle with your soulmate…

How many of you out there aren’t yet where you want to ultimately be? (I cannot see you  nod your head or raise your hands) (unless my spy camera is set to your IP address today). (In other words, leave a comment below if you’d like to chime in.) Dreams are fantastic; goals have a deadline. Deadlines bring out the best and the worst in me. They make me productive and make me strive for brilliance. They also make me crazy, which brings us back to The Path Is the Goal.

Each of us, I am sure, has had moments of blood, sweat, and tears (if you get that reference, you’re either a music buff or you’re as old as I am) throughout our lifetime when things haven’t gone as planned, or at least haven’t gone as quickly as planned. That is where my previous post comes into play. Not to sound too preachy here, but it is essential that you ENJOY the route you take to reach a goal of which you may or may not even realize is waiting for you to find it. By not enjoying LIFE until you reach your pre-determined milestone/goal/net worth, you could waste years being miserable and missing out on the beauty that you will pass along the way, as well as the lessons you are meant to learn as you go.

In other words, life is a highway balance. Like a teeter-totter. Walk the walk with one eye on the ultimate goal, and the other eye on the path. But be careful because the path can bend, twist, make a 90 degree turn, possibly to a better goal, one you might never even have imagined. And that may be where you are supposed to end up. As my soul-sister/literary idol Ann Patchett said in State of Wonder, “Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”

When I was a little girl, I used to write poems and short stories, but I never once dreamed that one day I would be a writer, writing novels. Today, that is my happy dream, with a deadline. Which means… hasta luega, amigos. I’ve gotta go write!

What about you? What have you learned on your path through life? And what (I love this question) would you tell your younger, naive self?

3 Replies to “Publication is the Goal”

  1. Good for you, Karolyn . . . for all that self-reflection. Honesty, to me, is one of the most important criteria to a good read. You’ve got the right stuff, Pretty Lady. I saw you on Mother’s Day at Django with your handsome husband and son. You looked fabulous, and happy! Let us know when you surface from from your contemplative writing patch!


    1. Thanks for the kind words, Ellen. You are one of my shining examples in life! Imagine where you and/or I would be if we never ventured down a new path along the way. Life is good, and, I agree, honesty is essential.

  2. Hi, it’s me again.
    I’m glad you wrote this post. I don’t like opinionating at others I don’t know well but I really didn’t agree with “the path is the goal” statement either. I mean, the path should only be the goal when it comes to roller coasters and the like. Otherwise, you’ll never reach your destination. Yes, life’s a journey, etc. And you can be happy whilest on the path even if you never reach the destination, but a captain without a destination is like a ship without a rudder. So, I’m with you. My goal is publication too. And saying it is scary.

    Perhaps that’s why we like statements like “the path is the goal.” It is much less scary.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts again.

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