I have a friend--and crit partner--who is calm. Seriously, unshakably calm. She's the sort of friend who always has a logical explanation, the pragmatic soul who thinks everything through before making a decision. A steady, unflappable influence. And she's totally rubbed off on me.
I've stolen her Zen. Now, I don't want you guys to think I've been a bad friend. I gave it back to her this morning. But over the past month, I needed it. Things have been a little unsettled in my writerly world. It was the sort of situation that would have had the old me biting my nails, eating compulsively, and lying wide awake in bed at night. But thanks to my stolen, er, borrowed Zen, this particular bump in the road didn't faze me.
Because I've learned one thing over the past year: The publishing industry is what it is. Sounds cryptic, but it's true. I can't do anything about timelines, responses, unexpected changes. These things happen in publishing just like they happen everywhere. And really, in comparison, publishing doesn't move any slower--or faster--than any other business. I can't do anything to change that. I'm a writer. I write. I can control my words, my scenes, my characters, and that's where I should focus my energy all of the time.
So, now that I've given my friend back her Zen, am I running around my house like a maniac, fraught with worry? Not exactly. Now returned, my friend says her Zen feels like swiss cheese. Full of holes like I held on tight and it ripped when I gave it back. And maybe I did manage to keep a little.