What am I waiting for?
Written by
Lisa Rivero
March 2010
Written by
Lisa Rivero
March 2010
I've been writing, well, my whole life, really, but for pay since about 1993. I remember clearly at that time reading an article in a writing magazine that advised to start small and local, and that advice prompted me to get in touch with a community wellness magazine, where I got a monthly column, and to submit a recipe article to our city newspaper, my first sale. Fast forward seventeen years. Now, that our only child is in college, I'm at a place in my writing career where I am turning the corner from a less-than-half-time part-time writer to a "serious" full-time writer. I have a lot of goals and projects that are not only unrealized but unstarted. I want to expand the types of writing I do. I want to get an agent to represent my non-fiction. I want to keep to a better writing schedule. I want to improve my business and self-employment skills. In short, I focus a lot on what I haven't done and what I want to do. And I still feel as though I'm waiting to be the writer I've always wanted to be. Does this sound like you? If so, I want to share what happened yesterday: I woke up at a deliciously early hour (the way I like it) and had coffee with my husband before he left for work. I read and answered email and caught up on my friends' goings-on on Facebook. I worked on my two blogs. I chose a new blog from SheWrites to visit and leave a comment for (something I try to do every day). I listened to Elvis Costello's Trust while cleaning the bathrooms. I got a free apple fritter (with a coupon) at Starbucks. I took a walk in the beautiful sunshine while listening to a New Yorker fiction podcast, and, upon returning home, noticed our first crocus of the season. At noon, I talked on the phone for the first time with my incredibly energetic agent about fine tuning the proposal for my children's book that she is getting ready to pitch to publishers. Then I drove to Evanston, Illinois to give a talk based on my books about homeschooling and gifted kids. A couple of people brought their dogeared copies of a book I'd written in 2002 for me to sign. I love how supportive and gracious audiences are at book talks. It's a wonderful feeling. I stayed overnight with an Evanston family, and went to bed thinking... What am I waiting for?

I just had the kind of day I'd always wanted, and I nearly didn't see it. I am living the life I want, right now. It's interesting that these same things could have happened on a different day, but I may have missed their perfection, more aware of what was missing than what is present, more focused on guilt and desire than satisfaction. That doesn't mean I don't want to do more, but I am grateful for the moment of mindfulness, and I am beginning to think that I might have been able to feel this satisfaction at many more points along the journey, if I'd only given myself permission to notice.

Let's be friends

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  • Lisa,

    Had one of those days this week. A lovely reminder; a sweet secret. I wish I could see it and hold that awareness daily...thanks for nudging me. Loved the details you shared; the weave, effortless, of work, family, writing.


  • Lisa Rivero

    I should add that one thing I wanted to emphasize in this post was the starting small and local really does work. The monthly column paid, at first, only $15/month, but it gave me clips and practice, and opened the door to many other opportunities.

    The other thing I'm hoping this post might help others with is to show that at any point in our journey, we can stop and take stock of the milestones we have reached, no matter how small, and give ourselves permission to revel in them, if only for a moment or a day.

    Happy writing!