Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
A lot of people say that the principle behind the 2nd step is hope, and I think that’s right. We hope that we can be restored to sanity, that we can live at peace with ourselves and with our writing. Yes, a lot of writers become very successful and they fight and spit and growl through the process, but that’s not my ideal. And again, I say, if I can write and handle the writing game sanely, everyone wins. I win, my critique group wins, my family wins, everyone.
But if I fight and spit and growl my way through the stress of creating, then querying, then publishing, then marketing my writing, well, it’s hard to be around all the negative energy day in and day out.
At some stage, I had to embrace the idea that me writing was good for the planet. That stories are worth the time it takes to craft them. Not just for the entertainment value, though that does have its place, but for the experience of enjoying and relishing a fine story well told. I would argue that the world is better because of Harry Potter and the Twilight novels.
I have to have hope that my stories can only make human life bearable for those who read my sometimes dark, but still hopeful books. I love the idea that the story I’m working on now just might be the next Hunger Games. Odds are it isn’t, but what if?
And while I’m pursuing that “what if,” I can play the writing game and not be full of fear, self-doubt, self-loathing, or just plain crazy.
I can be a writer who has courage and dignity. That’s the hope, and through the steps, I’ve found a lot of peace even when things have gone from bad to worse.
Because at my core, I have hope.