The Book, The Blog, The Elusiveness of Joy

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

I’m back!

My apologies for the two-week absence. I’ve missed our conversations tremendously, but am happy to report that I finished my manuscript and sent it to my editor in time. What a relief!  Thanks so much for your encouragement and support. I’ve wanted to write a book since I was eight-years-old, and now I feel like I’ve fulfilled a dream.

This is my first book, so I’m not sure what to expect next—what the editing process will be like, when the book will be released, how long it will take to lose the ten pounds I gained while writing it, etc.—but I will keep you posted.

As my focus shifts from writing the book to promoting it, I’ll have more time to spend on the blog.  I hope to develop more consistency, incorporate more themes from the book, and foster a community-like atmosphere with more participation from readers.  On Wednesday look for a post on “Off-Limits Questions” and on Friday look for a post on “Good Friday Doubt.”

As I reflect on this milestone in my life, I’m reminded of the old adage, “wherever you go, there you are.” Even as I fulfilled a lifelong dream, it didn’t take long for me to move from joy to worry—will the editor like it? will readers like it? how will friends and family react? how many can I sell? what happens if I don’t sell as many as I’d hoped? will I get a coveted “read with discernment” sticker? was my writing good enough? will I look back one day and wish this stuff wasn’t in print?

You always imagine that once you’ve reached a big goal, you will magically transform into the person you’ve always wanted to be, that you will suddenly become confident, secure, giving, well-liked, organized, clever, and skinny. But contentment is not something that arrives wrapped in a big bow or with trumpets and fanfare. I suspect that it is something that sneaks up on us, when we least expect it, when we’re doing something that really matters.

Finishing the book made me happy, but it didn’t make me content. It never had the power to do that.

So, my question for you guys is this: When do you feel most content? How do you nurture contentment from day-to-day?

Also, “South Beach” diet, or “Cabbage Soup” diet?

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