“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
~Golda Meir, (Israeli Founder and Prime Minister, 1898-1978)
Happy November! One of my favorite months of the year — because it has Thanksgiving in it, one of my favorite holidays. Also, November is officially the National Novel Writing Month, in the United States, and beyond the borders. NaNoWriMo, as writers call it, also is an organization that encourages people to write a (short) novel during the month of November. They have an official website that helps track progress, and a network that helps to keep participants encouraged along the way. Click here to see my writing goal.
This year, I am participating in NaNoWriMo. Why? For a few reasons, really … but it all comes down to the fact that I love to write. As with the title of this blog, I share the View through My Lens, but if you’ve read my bio, you know that my passion is writing. Writing novels.
As with all of the arts, the writing world is a tough place to break in … or get a publisher for one’s work. But just as someone can’t walk up to the London Symphony Orchestra and say they want to join and learn how to play a violin, a person can’t walk up to a publisher and say they want to use a computer and have their book published. (Well, with self-publishing, technically people can. But that also means the product could be about the same quality as if a novice violinist opened for the London Symphony.)
The only way to break-in to the Arts is to work. Work more. And keep working through until the quality of an artist’s work is of the highest quality. Then, that artist, if it is their time, their hard work will pay off. Their dream will come true. Until then, the term “starving artist” applies well, because it usually takes years. Of work. To get there.
This novel I am writing now is my fifth. And though my last novel was within a breath of being published, it was not. It wasn’t the time, yet. And so I work … and work more. Well, I also write because I will continue to write, regardless; it is what I deeply love to do.
It is for this reason that I am participating in NaNoWriMo. I’ve been spinning this novel in my head for the past few months, plotting and feeling the characters come to life inside my head; it was ready to come out. Creativity takes courage. To create something is to say, “I have something inside to offer, to give, to share.” To create is to be fully alive.
I think that comfort (or inaction) is the enemy of reaching our dreams. It is much easier to make ourselves too busy for the sake of being busy so that we don’t have time to work toward a goal. But, we can make time. We can clear the schedule. We can realign with our goals. For me, NaNoWriMo is a great kick in the pants. It happened to be the perfect time to pick myself up and move ahead, keeping my sight fixed on the next goal.
Creating something, pursuing a dream, becoming all that we were created to be, and using the gifts we have been given — none of these are easy. But to achieve something worthwhile, something that resonates and satisfies, we have to trust inner compass and step ahead, in the direction of our dreams.
Starting the Conversation: What holds you back from pursuing your dreams? How can you begin again, moving in that direction?