I keep running into scenes, excerpts, and quotes about childish things in adulthood–seeing things as a child sees them, not fearing judgement for what we enjoy, and embracing wonder. I think someone might be trying to tell me something, because the truth is, I struggle with these things.
Eyes of Wonder
Big changes are occurring in my life. A few frustrating ones. Far more good ones. Hitting goals, adjusting goals, and learning the ebb and flow of this new life I have chosen to live. One of the biggest and most difficult of these lessons has been that success can be disorienting and that’s when it’s most important to get your feet under you and push forward.
Yesterday when I was writing at one of my favorite coffee shops on the island (and one my my favorite places in general) I noticed an open journal on a coffee table. The journal itself was a work of art, but what truly made it special we’re the contents. I’d never stoop to reading someone else’s personal journal without their blessing, however, with the pages open I caught a glimpse of detailed sketches and painstakingly written notes that were simply breathtaking. I rarely keep nice notebooks because rarely are my own notes and art anywhere near nice. In a way I don’t feel like my chicken scratch is worthy of the journal. This young woman’s was. Beyond any shadow of a doubt.
Confession. I hate yesterday’s poem. I’m sure I’m not alone as a poet who occasionally produces something he or she is unhappy with. I kept waiting for inspiration to strike me with something better and it never came. Lesson learned: push forward anyway. Momentum is more important than perfection. I’m beginning to suspect that I’m a rather dense student because this lesson seems somewhat familiar by this point.
In that spirit of moving forward, here are the poems for both 162 and 163.
I wanted to write about prosperity and this is what came out…
I was contemplating the nature of control this morning and realized that I have several personal hangups surrounding it that I need to work on. One of which is the struggle with the idea that I am not the author of my own life, but rather the protagonist in my own story. It’s an interesting reframing that’s given me much to think on and at the same time is more than a little freeing.
Living a Story
I’ve got a bit of backlog again. I’ve been writing but not publishing my writing as I should. I’d intended to spread out several of these backed up poems out over the course of the day but the day had other plans. So did the next. And it has been brought to my attention that when a backlog such as this occurs, that those following his blog do not like being suddenly inundated with multiple updates. So, here is my attempt at compromise. One post. Three poems. Today’s own post will follow shortly.
Day 157: Enough for the Stories
This poem was written in an effort to recapture the loss of the poem, Creative’s Career, which I started in a moment of inspiration that was cut short and the scrap of paper I’d written it down on was thought lost. While the opening is very similar, It ultimately became its own thing. Every time I finish a book, my mind is overwhelmed with ideas. Many of them for entirely new projects or for things I’ve set aside to do later when often what I need to do most is push forward onto the next book in whatever series I’ve started. So many ideas. So many stories to tell. It’s a little overwhelming.
Enough for the Stories
Day 158: Free the Fear
I have been my own worst enemy with my writing. I’ve said before that part of the reason I use pennames is because they give me permission to fail. Permission to simply write. In essence, when I go into a piece knowing that I am going to publicly claim it as my own, I am writing from a place of fear and I think it is undermining my efforts. That got me thinking about the nature of fear and courage and what is required of me with regards to both if I am to succeed as a professional creative. Perhaps what is required of many of us going forward.
Free the Fear
Day 159: Sniping for Success
There is a principle in professional investing that is difficult for many to wrap their heads around, let alone embrace, and which I feel applies to many areas of life. Diversify your investments. Bleed money. Aim wide. The idea is that you’re waiting for something called a “black swan,” which is to say the rare and unpredictable success. Something is going to do well eventually and it all boils down to a test of endurance. Waiting for that single critical moment to strike, the build off of. Then repeating the process over again.
Sniping for Success
I am a writer. I write poetry and novels. Stories are my passion. Have been since I was a child.
I use pen names, pseudonyms, as much for marketing as to allow myself freedom to fail and be detached from my work. I’ve been taking steps this year to remove myself from that fear-driven mentality. I don’t think that I’ll ever give up pen names–as a self-publishing author they’re useful for brand recognition and marketing–but there are many ways to handle them and mindset matters.
Those thoughts got me thinking about other kinds of performers this morning. The strength that some of them generate by virtue of having to face that pressure to be perfect and doing their jobs anyway. What if they didn’t have to? Would they, and we as those who enjoy their performances, be better or worse for it?
Pressure to Perform
I’ve got a book coming out in a few days. I am both excited and nervous. I put a lot into it, maybe more than anything I’ve done before. It’s winding me in knots. This book is a big risk for me in more ways than one and took me way outside my comfort zone. I’m more invested in its success than anything else I’ve ever written. It’s either going to belly flop into a vat of acid or take off. Here’s hoping it’s got wings.
Had a good talk with my bride about the future last night. Thing was, even though it was good, there was an element of fear to it. I had to take a step back and remind myself verbally that this was a GOOD talk about possibilities and dreams and opportunities and growth. The element of fear didn’t come from the prospect of the future, it came from within. How many of us have held ourselves back not out of fear of the future, but because of the hungry fear inside of us?
Mother’s Day has me thinking about courage and decisions. Say what you will about instinct, at the end of the day it is a choice to be a parent. A courageous choice and one worthy of admiration. I’ve been blessed with a pair of wonderful role models.
Happy Mother’s Day.
To Live is to Dare