Thursday, March 4, 2010

Knowing vs. Wondering

Knowing is better than wondering, waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beat the hell out of never trying.
Dr. Merideth Grey, Grey's Anatomy

I love this quote. It encapsulates everything I'm trying to embrace in this crazy publishing journey I'm on. Yeah, half the time I'm wondering what will happen in a week, a month, a year from now. I've gotten so used to trying to anticipate the future that I rarely live in the moment any longer. I want to know what will happen now, please. I hate waiting. I like certainty. I can handle bad news - just tell me the bad news. I hate guessing.

Will the book be read by anybody? Will it be liked? Will I sell another one? Will I ever finish the one I'm working on now? Why do I put myself through this angst? The uncertainty - the not knowing - just about makes me crazy.

But, like a few wise commenters said on my previous post, if I knew all the answers beforehand would I have still taken the journey? Maybe not. And if not, then all I'd be left with was a lifetime of wondering "What if ...?"

Talk about driving yourself crazy.

I also believe that 'waking is better than sleeping'. I know that even with all the dreaded uncertainty that is part of your everyday life, that uncertainty can also be exciting, stimulating, and yes, terrifying, but you are living it. Not watching it from the sidelines. Not sleeping your life away. Not dreaming about it. Living it. Because, like the last line of that quote says so eloquently, the regret you face out of never trying something you really want - really crave - trumps all the angst and fear that living with uncertainty brings.

So, when all is said and done, I'd rather be wide awake living with the only knowledge I can ever have: that, at the very least, I tried.

How about you?


  1. Here here! It's so sad to think that each step of the way we have to worry about the next one. First, I wrote it but will I find an agent? Then I found an agent but will a publisher buy it? Then, will anyone read it and like it? and so on. I say we take the time to relish the moment and celebrate whatever victories we've already been fortunate enough to reap. Then we can get back to worrying.

  2. I just know I don't want to be 90 years old and wonder What If. And that pertains to every aspect of my life, not just my writing.

  3. Hi Lisa: Yes, relishing every moment and celebrating the victories. That's what it's about. Now if I could just train myself to slough off the many worry moments I have!

    Hey, Laura - Exactly. A life with no regrets is a life well lived.