I didn’t mean to get that tremendously high score on Bejeweled Blitz. In the weekly scores, I consistently run second to my friend Lori B., so usually I’m just trying to beat her score. But this time, by some freak of nature or coincidence, I scored just a tad over 500,000. Wow.
Which made me very happy for about a day. And then I realized two things. One, I would likely never match that score again, and, two, for the rest of the week, the person who I would be trying to beat every time I played the game was…me.
That’s the problem with accomplishing something extraordinary. What do you do to top it?
I can think of authors (not me!) who have faced this dilemma. Charles Frasier and Cold Mountain. Any number of Oprah authors. Or Harper Lee and To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s hard to be phenomenal twice in a row.
But, then, maybe that’s the problem, thinking that we have to be phenomenal all the time. That a tremendous success takes away the significance of smaller ones. This week, I scored over 300K several times in Bejewleed Blitz. Until now, those would have been amazing scores. Now I look at them and yawn politely. That, though, is my mistake.
The real secret to Bejeweled Blitz (and to writing) is to keep on playing (or writing) no matter what. Whether our successes are small or large, whether we’re on the upswing or tanking, the point is to keep on doing what we’re doing. Because the point of it is the doing, not the score or the published book.
So I’m back to playing Bejeweled Blitz. On Tuesday, they’ll wipe out the weekly scores and it will be like my 500K never happened. On the book front, my books (and almost everyone else’s) will eventually be remaindered and disappear from the shelves. While it’s a comfort to know that ebook versions will remain, for the most part, those books will disappear from the market.
The results of our work can be amazing or less than what we hoped for. But whatever they are, eventually the results will disappear. The only thing we’ll have left is what we’ve learned and enjoyed along the way. So I’ll keep playing Bejeweled Blitz because it helps to ease my stress. I’ll also keep writing, whether my books hit the NY Times bestseller list or (tank).
It’s the process, silly. I forget that sometimes.