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The Heart Wants What it Wants

This week I quietly finished a complete draft of my novel. Writing a novel is a series of micro-edits, millions of tiny decisions. I made the last revision, and it had the same weight as any of the other revisions. Except when I was done, I was really done.

Except I'm not done at all. There is much work ahead. Lots of tinkering. Revising my query, writing a synopsis, researching agents. I have miles of rejection ahead of me. Probably a little praise, too, which will keep me going. I'm looking forward to it. Here's a secret: the more rejection you bear, the sexier you get. Rejection is a 100 lb. kettlebell. Every time you approach it without fear, your ass gets a little tighter. Rejection is a thigh-master. You can be laid out on your side and still feel the burn.

The heart wants what it wants! This is the motto of my protagonist's mother. (The woman in the above photo is something of what I imagine this character to look like.) Sometimes she says it in Polish: Serce chce tego czego chce. It's a phrase/concept/theme Nikki struggles with. Is it okay for her to want what she wants, even if it will hurt other people? Including, maybe, herself?

Every day I surrender to what is. Suchness. Sometimes that surrender is a struggle, like in the middle of the night when I can't believe how old I am. How old my kid is. I practice surrendering my desire for, and my idealization of, conventional success. I let go of that pursuit a while ago, but not super consciously. It's the way my life unraveled both with and without my will.

I would give you a specific example of what I mean, but I don't feel like it. Something about understanding how much power you have over your life. Something about the pain and the beauty of surrender. And the pain and the beauty of action. And deciding for yourself what success means. Success is a thigh-master.... just kidding. Success is like style. Someone else might consider you unstylish, but that just might be your style.

The heart wants what it wants. Despite how much I've changed over the course of my adult life, I've always heard that truth, with its lack of clarity, its lack of judgment. The way it points to surrender. And action. Both of those things. No matter how much my head rears its....head, my heart seems to win. It's completely personal, and to me, completely worth every nearly undetectable micro-edit.


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