Tag: fulfillment

Everybody’s Better Than Me

I’ve just read through several book reviews and I think they are all better written than the reviews I write. No wonder my editor doesn’t give me so much work, I think. Although my brain then immediately reminds me that she gives me the amount of work I have asked for. No matter, I am determined to feel inadequate. This determination leads me to decide that the hundreds of books that are published each month are all expertly written and professionally put together (even though, in my capacity as a reviewer I have occasionally experienced the opposite) and to come to the conclusion that I am wrong to I think I can get a book of my own published, much less get a good review on it. This leads to the coda that I am wasting my time writing my two thousand words each day on my current project, a middle grade mystery.

And yet, six days a week I write my two thousand words, letting the story find its own way, and at the end of the day’s two thousand words, I feel—what is the word—happy, that’s it. I feel contented and fulfilled. I have set myself a goal, I have filled it, and sitting down to write each morning with nothing in mind but the trust that the words will come is like jumping off a cliff and discovering I can fly.

Writing is not the acclaim of a good review or even the validation of getting published, is it? It’s the sense of purpose fulfilled. If a publishing house thinks they can make money off it or a reviewer likes it, yay. But the really valuable part of all this is the doing of it, and the pleasure it gives.

I know, I know, everybody has said/written/acted/sung those words before and so they have the impactful strength of anemia. But believe me, until you put yourself in the position of the continual rejection of the writing life, you don’t realize the sterling honesty of those words. When you do, they are that bit of oar you cling to in the icy sea of the publishing world.

So maybe everybody is better than me. Who cares? I can still try and delight in the trying. That is something no one can take away: the decision to try.

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You Are What You Think You Are

I’ve had several self-constructed careers and at the beginning of each one, I’ve felt a shyness about declaring who I am this time—artist, photographer, video producer, craftsperson, massage therapist, writer/illustrator. But after that first moment of hesitancy on my part, I found that everyone accepted me in my new role. Even people who had been closely involved in my old role. Oh, she’s this now? Ok.

This gives me a profound feeling of gratitude because I consider this acceptance of my current profession, by extension, an acceptance of me. I see it as an offering of faith in me and my abilities that I sometimes don’t have in myself.

In my career shifting, I have learned that you are what you think you are. If you think you are a writer, and you work at being a writer and you declare yourself a writer, people will treat you as a writer and your friends will support you as a writer. Ditto for being a craftsperson.

Supportive people are the safety net of trying something new, and the urge to try something new is as old as human kind itself. Think teen years and mid-life crisis.

Every year, in a Nevada desert, an ephemeral city comes into being for one week; it’s a place where people go to try new things—identities, creativities, lifestyles. This year the attendance at Burning Man was over sixty thousand. I’m intrigued: Are there so many people who need an infrastructure and permission to be creative and take chances? Burning Man is an interesting concept, but do you need to pay money and travel to a set-aside place to try on new interests? I think you can do it in your everyday life. Take that leap—the worst that can happen is that you find it’s not what you thought it would be and in that case you move on. And once you’ve found the courage to take that chance with yourself—and it is just a springboard really, the leap into the pond—you will discover the real jewel in the heart of the lotus.

You will find that you will be supported. People will help you. And as you realize this, you will find that you too, will support. The acceptance and generosity from others will find an empathizing home of acceptance and generosity within you and you will be moved to support your own friends’ interests and changes. In this way, the support and tolerance and creativity grows, until eventually it becomes an undeniable truth: There’s room for everybody.

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