Monday, March 13, 2006

The Epiphany

I learned something very important yesterday (I should say it was today -- it would be more dramatic since it's my birthday). It's maybe the most important thing I've ever realized. I'll try to keep it short so as to not make everyone's eyes glaze over.

I realized that if I don't try to make a serious attempt at being successful with my writing -- and by serious I mean doing it every day, finishing what I start, and beginning to submit some of my stuff -- then I will never be happy. Maybe it should've been obvious and I should have acknowledged it before my 34th birthday (for goodness' sake!), but it only hit me clearly yesterday.

The fact is that I'm in the Air Force, and I have my annual promotion test on Mar 30. I only just learned I qualify for it this year, so I will really have to cram and work hard to test well. Except that for the past few days, I haven't been. At all. When I sensed that it wasn't just my usual procrastinating nature, I thought it over, and it hit me clear as day. This definitely falls under the category of "epiphany," and I don't think I've ever had one before. I saw in my head a fork in the road: down the first path lay that test, my remaining seven years in the military before I can retire, and one potential future for me. Down the second, I saw a novel completed, years of work, submissions, and rejections, and a different potential future for me. And I understood that it's not just a choice on which short-term task to complete (study, or write), because I could make time for both, but which of those paths I prefer.

And the decision was so easy. Off I go down that second path, for better or worse.

I really can't overstate what a revelation it was to realize this thing out of the blue yesterday while driving down the road with my wife and boys in the car. Amazing...


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