Last Saturday was a fairly momentous day for me.
I finished the first draft of my third book. And then I went and performed on my harp in public – for the first time.
But although both of those were momentous for me, their impact on others is negligible.
I typed ‘THE END’ on JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE YETI SOLUTION at 5.17pm, then packed up my three cherubs and we headed off to an evening performance with the Moreton Celtic Fiddle Club, which we’re all part of. Miss11, Miss8 and I play violin; Mr7 and I play recorder; and I also play harp. Different instruments for different songs, I hasten to add, hopefully before images of Dick Van Dyke in MARY POPPINS are stuck in your head… whoops… sorry!
Anywho, I’ve been learning harp for just over five months now. I’m a music teacher, and I’ve been playing instruments for three and a half decades, but harp is BY FAR the most difficult I’ve ever learned. Saturday’s was my first performance, and as scary as it was? It’s been and gone and the others will all be easier.
Likewise, my book. The first time I typed THE END, on May 10 2015, it was exhilarating. Typing it for a second time on May 10 of this year was just as brilliant, if not more exciting because I’d proven to myself that last year’s book wasn’t just a fluke. Typing it for the third time, two days ago, made me realise, ‘Hey, I can do this. This is a thing, now.’ And that’s an incredibly fantabulous realisation to make!!! Especially seeing as I can see how my writing is improving substantially with each and every book. It may not be getting ‘easier’ but it’s certainly getting ‘better’ 🙂
Although, (and I’m thinking about Saturday again now) for each of these two events, I also stepped back from myself and said, ‘So what?’
I played my harp piece as background music during a celebratory meal – the group that had booked us to play for them, were marking 30 years existence. So people were eating and drinking, talking and laughing – and maybe a handful were watching; listening; paying attention. Not that I was playing for their attention… but the thought hit me: ‘few care’. And no more than a couple would have given any thought to the efforts I had gone to, to learn the harp and play the song for their enjoyment.
Likewise, my stories. I’d like to think they’ll be published one day. [Please Lord, before my 45th birthday!] but even if they are, only a mere handful of readers may possibly think about the effort that I put into creating the book.
And that’s okay. Don’t get me wrong, I realise that this is the way life is, and even if I wanted to change this, it’ll never happen.
No, my point is: what is it that makes these efforts of mine – any effort, by anybody, really – worthwhile?
Was I playing solely for my listeners’ enjoyment? Do I write solely for my future possible readers?
In part, yes. But to be downright honest about this – only a little part.
So what makes my efforts worthwhile? My own feelings about what I’ve accomplished. My own emotions about what my future could look like.
And if that’s not motivation enough, I don’t know what is 🙂
Have a great week, dear reader!