Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Two weeks ago I learned that two of my books are being sent off to the No More Farm, their publisher, Egmont, going out of business.
Just yesterday I learned that a book that had been destined for foreign translation will no longer be translated. I am not, as it turns out, a star in Germany.
I could be thrown from my rails. I won't be thrown from my rails.
Because, in the end: I remember this. We are writing because it is what we feel impelled to do. We are doing (unless we are rushing or lazy or writing for the wrong reasons) the best that we can. Our measure, as human beings, is not the number of prizes or the number of books written or the number of books sold or the number of stars given but the number of times we actually stepped outside of ourselves and lived bright, thought big, made connections, reached over the fence toward another.
One of the reasons I love teaching at Penn as much as I love teaching at Penn is that it gives me zero time to worry about accolades or counts. I'm just worried about knowing as much as I can about how stories get made. Desperate (and it's all consuming, it takes every spare moment) to find the words and books and exercises to whisper down the lane.