January 6th, 2012

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New Year's Motto: Embrace Who You Are

In my final post of 2011, I talked about some of what I'd learned in that difficult year. And then, as I took a few weeks off of posting, I found that one of those lessons stayed on my mind. I decided that instead of giving myself any resolutions for the new year, I would give myself a motto -- a reminder of what really matters. And the motto is that final lesson from 2011: Embrace who you are.

What does that mean? It means cutting off the addiction to filtering life through what you imagine other people's judgments might be. It means living according to what is true for you rather than by what you believe will please someone. It means not trying to be the next J.K. Rowling or Lady Gaga or whomever you might aspire to be, and instead aspiring to be the first you. Writers, like actors, tend to be a fairly angsty bunch. And trying to please an agent or editor or market or fan base can dramatically affect our creativity.

I know that much of the writing I did over the past few years was written in an attempt to please. And that wasn't working for me. My current project is different. It was written from a place of need -- the need to express emotion and tell a story I needed to tell. And I have loved writing it. And I love what it has become. And maybe it will get published and maybe it won't. That is out of my hands. But the point is, I wrote it from my truth, from who I am, without trying to tame that or make it more acceptable or pleasing or less quirky. I'm quirky! Different, strange, peculiar, odd -- blessings all!

It's hard not to compare ourselves to others, to look at other's successes and want to embrace their truths. But their truths are only going to work for them. Only my truth will work for me. So as I step into the new year, I do so with this promise to myself: I value what I have to offer and intend to honor it. I hope you do the same for you. Here's to a brilliantly beautiful 2012.