Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Giving up Hope Works Wonders

I gave up hope for Lent.

Not really. I am an eternal optimist. I usually think things are going to turn out well in the end. I have hope for a better tomorrow. But when it comes to my fiction writing and publishing what I have written, hope has waned of late.

Actually, as the Lenten season began I had truly given up all hope that my work would be read by anyone except my closest loved ones. And you know what happened? Three of my stories were accepted for publication and one of those actually won first runner up in a contest.

(Check www.flashquake.org on page 56 of the spring issue and find my name and click at amaranthinemuses.wordpress.com. The third story runs on www.6tales.com in June.)

It's a bizarre turn of events, being that I have struggled with publishing since leaving my day job as a newspaper journalist quite a few years back. I thought I'd come to terms with it, but as I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking about my yogic path I realized I had not accepted anything at all. I was always hoping for more or at least a different outcome.

It was this self study, known as Svadhyaya, the fourth Niyama (personal observances) of the eight-limbed path of Yoga, which made me realize I needed to accept and even welcome my limitations. Quite hard for a perfectionist like myself, let me tell you.

Well, all this self study has put me in a different mind set. Instead of feeling desperate to be noticed with my writing I actually came to terms with the fact that if I'm not "discovered" it's ok. More than ok. It's what's meant to be.

Of course, in giving up hope, I didn't give up trying. I still sent out my work and did so with love and care. Only, this time I told myself "I'm good enough no matter what happens."

That's when the news started coming in that some flash fiction stories were being published and a young adult novel I've written was requested by a publisher. It made me nervous at first, thinking this is it. This is my only time. I need to enjoy the moment.

Hogwash. Giving up hope for certain outcomes has worked wonders. From now on I am going to wish for the best, wherever that wish is meant to take me.