"It's not about a book deal, a good review, a big advance. It's about a life."
"A creative life is engaging"
"Your creative work expands your world. It does not reduce you down to your screens and word counts."
And I think, reflecting back on my study abroad experience and the break I took from writing and the break I'm still kind of taking from blogging (I'm trying to come back, I promise!), that this is what I learned.
A creative life does not happen solely on the computer or in a work-in-progress. It happens in the world, living. And when that creative life explores the world and grows, writing becomes way more than book-deal-book-deal-book-deal. Which was the trap mindset I'd fallen into. Writing becomes something deeply personal, something that persists beyond rejection or restructuring: because writing is the way you see and experience the world, not the way you want the world to see you.