Okay, maybe not. But I keep remembering the prayer, because it applies in every situation, throughout life, and for all eterniity.

We have to have the serenity to accept what can't be changed. The economy is lousy, the industry is quirky to say the least, and the process of getting published is often unfair and illogical. Accept it; it's what we've got. In addition, each writer has certain talents and lacks others. You may tell a great story but lack the ability to make your characters come alive. Accept it; lots of authors have made money with characters flatter than a cheap sheet of legal paper.

We have to have the courage to change what can be changed. We can work together for the good of ourselves and the industry. We can be book buyers and book ambassadors as well as book writers. We can improve our writing from wherever it is today, getting better through education, through observation, and with practice. And we can make those promotional efforts despite nobody knowing which ones actually work because, as some sage has observed, everything works sometimes.

And finally, we must have the wisdom to know the difference. It's the hardest part of it. That flailing against what can't be changed is the most exhausting, debilitating, and depressing part of life, whether for mystery writers who are unpublished or underpublished, or parents struggling with the problems of parenting, or Presidents-elect bombarded with questions that have no answers. In every life, wisdom must be called upon and allowed to make the final judgments. Then, to the extent possible in life on this planet, courage can be applied where it is effective and serenity can be achieved everywhere else.

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