What Does Enough Mean?
If you are interested in ordering 1000 WORDS and you live in the UK or the EU, here are the details:
If you order the hardcover book in the UK, you will get the US version of the book, and that will be released on 3/15. It will not be available in stores. You can order it via Bookshop or Amazon. (Obviously you can get the e-book version of it immediately.)
If you order the book online anywhere in the EU, you will get a print on demand paperback version of the book in English, and that will be released on 3/15. (And again, the e-book version is available now.)
Last week I packed up all the archives of the two books I finished last year in one big messy box. I taped it shut and then I put it in my attic and I will probably never look at it again, but it was nice to know it was all finished and somewhere safe. Enough of this, I thought. We are done here.
My brain is itching to write something new but it’s not quite time yet. That morning I went down to the cafe with no notebook or phone or anything. I let myself just stare and daydream and my mind arrived somewhere on its own without any prompting from my conscious self.
Be gentle with yourself, I thought. You just did a lot, for a long time. You did enough. Now be gentle for a while. Let the swelling waters of your brain recede.
A day after that I watched as my Amazon numbers finally (inevitably!) dropped to a number I was no longer excited about and I thought, farewell for now to a specific kind of vibe about this book. But I love it so much and have had so much fun with putting it out there, I don’t care. I had a nice first month. It was more than enough.
The next day I got an email from someone who was being hard on themselves about not accomplishing enough, not writing enough, struggling with being the version of themselves they wanted to be, that writer version, and I told them to be gentle with themselves, too.
Honestly if you are trying you are doing fucking great.
Today, I watched that Tracy Chapman performance at the Grammy’s (like 100x) and it made me think about how hard a lot of us work to make our art and how if you can just make ONE thing that feels eternal or lasts a long time you’re really lucky. Like one thing is actually enough.
Most of us will never make anything on such a grand scale, to be witnessed and consumed and treasured and loved by so many. Come on, we’re writing books here! It’s nearly impossible.
But we could make something that could stick in someone’s brain for a good long time, and that feels like enough. Or we could write a letter to someone that makes them feel better about themselves just when they need it and they’ll remember that forever. Or we could make something (even just write a sentence!) that changes our life in a way because we learned something we needed to learn about ourselves. All of those things feel pretty good.
Enough to me lately feels like I tried hard, accomplished the right amount of work, put in all the effort I could. Whatever I get out of it in return is up in the air. I just want to walk away feeling like I did enough.
What feels like enough to you?