You have to admit that there's something tantalizing about the phrase "a dark chocolate tasting odyssey." You may not be able read the smaller print, so allow me to share the interesting and unexpected flavors included in this collection:
- black sea salt with caramel
- orange hibiscus
- coconut caramel
- chili cinnamon
- almond ginger
- salt and pepper potato chip
- coffee and cocoa nib
If someone were to hand us a beautiful box on the day we first embarked on our writing journey, and say, "Inside this box are all the steps of your journey; take a look!", we would likely find an equally unexpected, disparate collection of events. And it might be tempting to know everything ahead of time: How long will it take me to get an agent? When will I be published? What will the deal look like? Will I be rich and famous?
But, honestly, would you want to know? Would it encourage or discourage you to know that it was going to take to you 5 years to land an agent? (That's how long it took me.) Would it encourage or discourage you to know that the first book your agent goes out with won't sell, despite some amazingly positive responses? (That's what happened to me.) Would it encourage or discourage you to know that you were not, after all, destined to be the next J.K. Rowling? (I'm still holding out for that one.)
The journey is hard...and it is wonderful. I wouldn't have wanted to know ahead of time that the next flavor was orange hibiscus. It would have given me time to wish for something different, and find dissatisfaction with what was placed before me. Because EVERY STEP OF OUR JOURNEYS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE.
Even the steps that hurt. The steps that suck. The steps that make us want to quit a thousand times, or maybe die a little.
It's only in hindsight that the value of these steps becomes clear. I am so thankful for my own journey, and I wouldn't want to change it. I'm feeling excited and encouraged as I move forward, and I'll open the next bar of chocolate when it's handed to me.
And, yes. It's two years today since I signed with Josh. He's my agent-from-heaven, and it's hard to express how profoundly he's affected my writing and my life-as-writer. In the midst of a persnickety market, he's remained focused and enthusiastic and ridiculously optimistic. And I love him for it.
May your own journey be as blessed. And may friends with fine chocolate show up at your doorstep whenever you need it most.