- by Dianne Drake
Today, I’ve turned another year older. At my age, some would consider it traumatic, some might even consider it a miracle. I’m certainly getting enough teasing from my 28 year-old daughter, and all I can say about that is I hope I live long enough to see her turn my age, because I’ll have some choice words for her.
The thing is, I got up this morning the way I do every other morning. Fixed my hot tea. Read my e-mails. Went over what I wrote yesterday. Wrote about as much as I do on any given day. Then later, I’ll do some editing, call the vet and make an appointment for my dogs, run to the grocery store and, if I’m lucky, stop by Starbucks for my one true addiction – black shaken iced tea lemonade. Today, though, it will be free, and that’s the only thing that’s different in my life. I’ve achieved another milestone and I get a free tea. Big deal.
Except, it really is a big deal. I’ve made it through. Written four more books that will be published before my next birthday, had four new books on the market since my last birthday and that’s something to celebrate in this rickety time in publishing. I may have another wrinkle or two, but somewhere out there, I’m still vital. And maybe that’s the birthday message all writers should have delivered to them along with their free black shaken iced tea lemonade, frappe or whatever they drink. We’re vital. The industry is jumbling itself up around us, and it’s definitely a concern because who knows what’s going to happen next? But what I’ve figured out, even before I’ve had my tea, is that we’re still going to write no matter what they do to us. No matter how much we stress, argue, worry, speculate or try to find solace in that box of chocolates or wherever else solace comes from, we’re going to write. We’re still going to fix our hot tea in the morning, read our e-mails, go over what we wrote yesterday, write, edit, call the vet, run to the grocery store and seek out our black shaken iced tea lemonade. But that’s just fine. Why? Because we’re writers. That’s what we do. We’re vital.
I saw this word the other day and I’ve had it posted on my desktop ever since. Entelechy. In simple terms, it’s the condition of a thing whose essence is fully realized or, in some philosophies, a vital force that directs us toward self-fulfillment. We all have that vital force, and in me, it’s what makes me write. Writing is my self-fulfillment. OK, so maybe when Aristotle coined this word, he had something else in mind. But I really like thinking that I have a vital force directing me toward self-fulfillment. Entelechy. It’s a comfort on a birthday. It’s also a comfort hearing my editor talking about my next book contract, which should carry me somewhere close to my birthday in 2013. I wonder if Starbucks will still let me have my free birthday black shaken iced tea lemonade then?
Dianne writes medical romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her current release, THE DOCTOR’S REASON TO STAY, the first of her New York Hospital Heartthrobs trilogy, is out now.