When I was in college, Barry Williams came to speak and do a book signing for his new tell-all book about his experiences playing Greg on The Brady Bunch. His appearance was lively and exciting, and he signed my book (and others) with the simple yet profound, "Keep on keepin' on."
And after his appearance, I was lucky enough to be one of the representatives chosen by the college to take him and his agent out to lunch. We went to The Dodo Restaurant in Salt Lake City, and had a nice chat over [I forget what we ate, so insert your favorite dish here].
Barry probably doesn't remember this afternoon. I doubt he even wanted to be there, hanging out with three college girls and their male college advisor. In fact, he hardly said much the whole time, and we spent most of the lunch chatting with his agent instead. I remember pitying poor Barry Williams, who looked as if he wasn't happy with his life. From the conversation with him we learned he had divorced and now spent most of his days alone, on the road for his book tour. All he had left was memories of his glory days on the set of the Brady Bunch. And instead of keepin' on, he was wallowing in how things had taken a turn for the worse.
I wished he would have taken his own advice that day. (Maybe has has now. I don't know.)
Today I realized that I've probably been a little like Barry Williams was when I met him. It's no big surprise to my readers out there (hi, all 6 of you!) that my book has not sold yet. It's still on submission, and I keep hoping editors will actually pick it up and read it one of these days. I'll admit it's been frustrating to watch other books sell as mine languishes in the submission piles. And I have been wallowing. I'll admit it.
But I'm not going to be like Barry Williams was at that lunch way back in the mid 90's. I'm actually going to take his advice. I will keep on keepin' on until I, too, have some good news to share. I'm not going to dwell on what has (or hasn't, in my case) happened. I'm going to look to the future instead of dwell on the past.
And for those of you out there who may be in a similar place, either in their writing or life in general...I just have one little piece of advice:
Keep on keepin' on.