Friday, March 20, 2020

Pride, satisfaction, thankfulness

by Abir

What moment of personal accomplishment within the writing realm made you most proud?

Hi folks. 

What a week it’s been. The world has changed utterly since last Friday. S*!t just got real, as you North Americans say. I hope you’re all keeping well and taking care of your loved ones, and that the financial repercussions aren’t too severe.

As for me and my family, we’ve been gradually battening down the hatches. Our younger son has his last day of school today after which the monster will be in the house till what feels like the end of time. Our elder boy is on the autism spectrum and attends a specialist school, so he’ll still be going, if only for three days a week. Still, that’s a small blessing as his routine means a lot to him.

Right. On to today’s topic.

Like my fellow writers on this blog, I’m a wee bit uncomfortable with the word ‘proud’. Pride in one’s achievements is all well and good, but I think I’ll reserve it for when the race is run and I’m sitting in my slippers at the age of a hundred and six, drinking cocoa and looking back on my life. For now I’m just a relatively inexperienced author, very much still learning the trade.

I’m also a bit of a fatalist and I’ve learned that whenever I think some goal has been reached, something will happen to pull the rug from out under my feet. So reflecting on achievements feels like jinxing things.

That’s not to say I don’t feel a sense of satisfaction at certain things. I’ll allow myself that, but those things are quite limited. Most of all I feel satisfaction for having written the four novels that have been published to date. Five years ago, I was given a wonderful opportunity by my publishers and I’m glad that, in some way, I’ve been able to repay their faith in my writing. As for the success or otherwise of the books, that’s really down to the wonderful readers. 

I also feel a deep sense of satisfaction when I receive letters or e-mails from people telling me that they’ve enjoyed my books, that they’ve helped them connect with the history of their parents or grandparents, or that the books have been a comfort to them through difficult times. We all like to think we can make a difference to the world, even in a small way, and if my books can bring a little joy into people’s lives, I can’t really ask for anything more.

I feel some satisfaction that, in the space of five years, I’ve been able to transition from my day job to a position where I’m writing almost full time, though this may be temporary and who knows what’ll happen in the next few months. 

And that’s probably it. It’s a short list I know, but really my overriding feelings are gratitude and thankfulness. It might sound twee, but I’m grateful for the opportunities that writing has given me – the chance to see the world, to visit places I’d never have imagined I’d see. I’m grateful that writing books has given me a platform to talk to people all over the world about issues that I think are important. I’m thankful that I’ve been given the chance to write – to indulge my passion and call it my job, and most of all, I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made, all the wonderful, warm hearted people it’s been a privilege to meet along the way.

Writing has given me a life I never thought was possible, and I’m thankful for every single day of it.

Stay safe, friends. x

1 comment:

Paul D. Marks said...

Good luck with your battening down, Abir. Things here in California are definitely surreal.

And congratulations your successes. Sometimes it's nice to take stock and enjoy things, I think, as long as we don't rest on our laurels.