Creative people often fall short in the area of persevering. I think we fear if we finish something and put it out there for acceptance and it’s rejected, we will have to face our greatest fear: “We are not good enough.”
The truth is no one is “good” enough for everyone. Flannery O’Conner and Margaret Atwood depress me. But the popular romance novelists bore me.
I’m having to face that I am not a great significant writer, but unfortunately I’m not superficial enough to be popular either. And I don’t have a tiny fraction of the talent of my favorite writer, Anne Lamott.
Although I would certainly love to make some money and I would greatly enjoy feeling successful, the truth is what I mostly want is to share what I’ve learned in seventy-eight years that I value deeply.
And there have been times when I’ve gotten feedback that I blogged or shared something that I’ve written that has spoken to someone else’s condition. It didn’t save them from pain or ever making mistakes or change the direction of their life, but for a moment in time they either didn’t feel alone or they saw something in a new way that was meaningful for them. I do think there are probably others out there that I will never know about that respond to what I share.
The question for me then is: How many people does it take to make it worth the struggle and time spent writing and risking being told that I am not good enough?
Dear fellow writers, the answer both scares and frees me.
I’m pretty sure the person I most try to follow would say. “One.”
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”
“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you hate.”
“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud, because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish..”
“I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”
“I think joy, sweetness, and affection are a spiritual path. We’re here to know, love, and serve God, and to be blown away by the beauty and miracles of nature. You just have to get rid of so much baggage to be light enough to dance, to sing, to play. You don’t have time to carry grudges; you don’t have time to cling to the need to be right.”
Quotes from my favorite author, Anne Lamott. Accessible at Anne Lamott Quotes or her books:
§ Operating Instructions: A Journal Of My Son’s First Year. Pantheon Books. 1993
§ Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Pantheon Books. 1994.
§ Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts on Faith. Pantheon Books. 1999.
§ Plan B : Further Thoughts on Faith. Riverhead Books
§ Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. Riverhead Books
§ Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son. Riverhead Books. 2012.