Thursday, January 1, 2015

Elaine Reflects on The Alchemist, Part Two

"The candy seller had a smile on his face: he was happy, aware of what his life was about, and ready to begin a day's work. [He] isn't making candy so that later he can travel or marry a shopkeeper's daughter. He's doing it because it's what he wants to do."

They say if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life. I know that is true, because if I could just be a bookseller at work, without all the manager responsibilities, I would be as happy as a clam! As it is, I am still about 94% happy to be at work. Every customer gets a huge, genuine smile, and I laugh and have fun with them while finding the books they are seeking.

I am in my element, being in a bookstore. I love the book business, I want to be a writer, I follow writers and publishers on social media, and care about getting great books into the hands of voracious readers. I love introducing my favorite books from my childhood to kids who want to read. If I need to work to survive, there is no job that would make me happier. I am sure I could settle in for the long haul and be content doing this job forever, but there is something I can't ignore: I am a not destined to be a retail manager.

If I get too comfy, I will slack on my writing, and will eventually give in to the responsibilities of life. I would still be happy--no question about it--but I wouldn't be realizing my Personal Legend, and I wouldn't be satisfied, because there would always be something missing. If I did not have this deep soul need to do something more significant, I would be like the Candy Seller, having a ball selling books. I am so close to 100% happy doing that, I cannot imagine how delirious I would be if I were able to make a living as a writer, but I do know that life would be exponentially better.

I have decided to put more energy into my writing. I am not working 60 hours per week anymore, so even if I give my all to the day job, I'll still have something left over to be creative. I still want to get promoted when and if the time comes, but I cannot be so focused on that anymore. If I put half the effort into writing that I used to put into advancing my career, I would have a book released every year! Finding that balance is much easier than I once thought it would be, and writing blog posts has kept me in practice.

I have also come to realize that I have been shortsighted in my quest to be a writer, and that has been holding me back from my true purpose. Writing is a part of it, of course, but my focus on being a writer was only beneficial to me. I want to be more than that. I want my books to inspire and motivate others. I realized that I need to be a Life Coach, Self Help Guru, Positivity Generator, or something of that nature, and through that, my writing will find its audience. When I finally realized this, everything changed. I will not be a bookseller forever. My job does not define me, and it is not a life sentence.