I am envious of my two young kids but not for obvious reasons. They both had their last day of school on the first official day of summer. One will leave pre-school behind and graduate to kindergarten. The other will advance to third grade, midway through his elementary school stint. Though I’d love to begin summer camp with them, what I envy is that they are moving forward and building on their accomplishments. They have a clearly defined school year and they understand they are climbing the educational ladder. But for me, and most adults, we’ve settled into a static world. I won’t have a graduation ceremony this month. No awards, trophies, diplomas or certificates. Just a paycheck.
It’s a long cycle to be in, once there are no new grades to enter. I got to grade 17 and have been there since 1989.
Authors may feel the same way, writing and writing away but not seeing themselves graduate to the next level. But each published book, I suppose, feels like you’ve advanced to the next grade. But then getting published is not enough of a plateau. You want the book to sell, to be critically acclaimed, to make an impact.
We need to have goals and to be told that a grade has been concluded and that we advance to the next level. We need certificates, diplomas, ceremonies, and awards. Otherwise, there seems to be a point one reaches where it’s day 2796 of a long journey with no clear mountain top in sight.
Authors can graduate with each book, and publishers graduate from each successful season. Our watches are set not to sunrises and sunsets, but to events and significant moments that define our accomplishments. For some of us, the clocks seem overwound, a day that doesn’t seem to end.
I long for my next graduation, some moment that defines one from the other. I don’t want to go back to school but I do want to see a concrete accomplishment come soon so that I can feel like I’m moving ahead on what may still be the road to the unknown.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013
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