This morning it seemed that everything in the universe fell into place and I was able to chat with a dear friend back home in Australia. Katie is one of those people who I have walked along side in a common journey towards fulfilment and creativity in everything. For a long time we were pretty much at the same place in our journey. We talked about the same fears, the same confusion and shared the same hope. Then something happened (I guess you could say life?) and Katie just exploded into forward motion and action. After trying several different creative outlets, she realised the one true desire of her heart was photography and focused wholly upon it. She entered her work into major competitions – and what’s more, won some of them. She worked out a marketing strategy, designed and developed a wonderfully professional looking website and even started booking clients.
And all I could do was look on in envy. My life wasn’t exactly in the same place as hers was. Although, when I think about it, I start to think, I am in the same place; a place of creative frustration, desire, hope and desperation. All through our conversation Katie kept telling me that we are basically the same people. That despite the differences in our current voyages, really, we are on the same pathway.
She suggested that when you get to a place when you have experienced hurt so much your whole world has been destroyed then nothing more can be fearful enough to stop you. That entering a competition or putting my work out to places for publication cannot possibly be any worse than the first few hours that walking into a strange place called a women’s shelter and admitting there was abuse in the one relationship I should have been the safest in was. Seriously; how bad can a rejection letter from a stranger feel like after living through and surviving that kind of experience?
Hazel, a writer friend shared her understanding that faith and fear are really the same thing; that they will inspire a reaction of one kind or another according to what I allow to rule my behaviour. If I allow the fear of rejection slips to overrule my desire to seek publication, then the reaction will be a life lived in the ‘could have beens’ and the ‘I wonders.’ I don’t have to emotionally deal with rejection if I don’t send my work out for others to judge. But if I act in faith and send out my work, then somewhere, somehow, despite a million rejections, eventually someone is going to like what I write and I will collect my first ‘by line’. By acting in faith, I will be opening the doors for Divinity to start working and reveal a gift of telling stories.
So this is my challenge and my inspiration. Start writing every day again. Start off with something as simple as my morning pages (a la Julia Cameron) and let the words start to flow. Not only search out but actually enter writing competitions. Everywhere; even if they do cost money. Because I must trust that the work I create is good enough. I have to have the conviction that, as before, I don’t have to wait for the so called muse will to come to me…. That if I am faithful in my writing time, the words will come to be no matter what I feel. That if I start to move forward, everything else will follow – in the same direction.