Dreams and Being Yourself
The other day I posted this quote on my FB and twitter:
"To fly as fast as thought to anywhere that is...you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived." ~ Richard BachIt's from the book Jonathon Livingston Seagull, which is one of those I read long ago and many times since, one that made me wake up.
I came across that quote the other day and I wondered, why is this so hard? Why is it so difficult to TRUST that things will work out. Usually, when we think of trying to make our dreams come true, we think about how to create something from nothing. But what if we chose to believe that just because something isn't visible yet doesn't mean it's not real.
What gets in the way? Isn't it just Fear and Doubt? What happens if we make the decision to set those aside?
This got me thinking about my own Fear and Doubt. As I work on my next novel, I worry about so many things -- will readers like it? will reviewers like it? is it saying something important? is it clever enough? funny enough? romantic enough? A person can (and does) drive herself crazy
And it reminded me of this life lesson I've learned about a gazillion times. I call it "I am not the clown." The first time I really got it was when I used to volunteer for this organization that tended to families dealing with life threatening illnesses. Each week, I visited a nine-year-old girl with cancer. And I often wasn't sure what to do with her. My instinct was to let her lead and do whatever she felt like doing that day -- to make a space for whoever she was in that moment. But I never felt sure if I was doing the right thing. One day a clown came to the hospital and made her laugh. And I felt so bad because I hadn't been able to make her laugh. But then I realized that what I offered her was something totally different. It was a small thing, just time to be her, without worrying about anyone else's feelings or concerns. And over time, I came to see how much she appreciated that. And so I guess I learned to value what I had to offer.
How does this relate to writing and life as an author? There are so many authors to look up to. And sometimes I find myself wanting to be more like one or another of them. And then I come back to that old lesson. I'm not the clown. And I can't be the best Laurie Halse Anderson or Meg Cabot out there. But I can be the best me and trust that that will be of value.
So whether you're in school and finding yourself trying to be like a certain person or group of people, or whether you're a blogger and trying to keep up with what other bloggers are doing, or whether you're a writer or anything else, my advice from my lesson learned over and over is just Trust that what you have to offer the world is valuable and unique and that no one else can be you as good as you can.