Welcome to the first post in my all-new blog, Wild Ideas … musings for the mind, food for the soul. After taking a long break from writing a monthly column, Wild Ideas has been reborn as a blog AND a book.
If you’re a new reader, I invite you to search this site and make yourself at home. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. For those of you who have been long-time supporters, it will come as big news that my book Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out is now available for order on Amazon.
I wasn’t sure this day would ever come. It has been more than a decade since I set aside my precious opus. Like a lot of people who dream of becoming a published author, I wrote a first draft and then found the challenges of rewrites, publishing, and marketing so daunting and time consuming that I had to move on for the sake of my sanity, not to mention my bank account.
What about you? Have you postponed the work of your heart because of family or work responsibilities? Or perhaps the creative challenges proved too formidable at the time? Did you lose heart—or faith?
Here is what I wrote in my journal about the moment I finally had to let go . . .
The morning is like any other, except my heart forms a tight knot at the back of my throat. I clear my desk, carefully laying well-worn pages of handwritten notes and a hard copy of my manuscript inside a felt-lined box. My hands tremble as I stand on tiptoe, placing the box into the farthest reaches of my closet, back behind the jeans I only wear when I forget to do laundry. Sadness and guilt wash over me. I think to myself, “someday.” But deep down I know, someday may never come. It feels like I am burying my stillborn child.
Do you long to pick up the pieces and try again? Sometimes if we are lucky, we eventually discover that our dreams refuse to die. Sometimes it is just a matter of timing and patience—and a little desperate courage. Looking back over the years since I consigned my manuscript to the back of that closet, I can see all the growth I had to go through in order to find the strength, the depth of passion, and the willingness to sacrifice—all that was required of me in order to bring Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out to fruition. At the time, I simply didn’t have enough inside to carry me through the tremendous challenges.
It can take many years and a lot of hard growing to finally feel confident in our own capacities—and to attract the quality of support necessary to get our finished work in front of an audience. Above all, we need to claim the authority and mastery that our years of experience confer.
I needed to live my own teachings to a degree I had never done before. Each and every day, I came up against old, familiar fears shouting their defeatist lament: This is impossible! It’s too much work! I accepted their challenge and countered their negativity by replying: How can I make this work? Am I willing to discover more of my capacities than I currently know? How can I stretch within the vulnerability of self-doubt?
Chances for success always depend on our willingness to do the work because all creative projects eventually become labors of both love and drudgery. And my project was no exception. In the end, I surrendered even more deeply than I ever had. I surrendered to the creative muse in all her spontaneity and wisdom, I surrendered to the discipline required to accomplish the sheer volume of work, and I surrendered to doing whatever was necessary to reach an audience—including launching this website.
There are still moments when I wonder if it has all been worth it. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. It’s still too early to tell. What I can say with complete confidence is that my sense of who I am and what is possible for my life has grown enormously. My life has irrevocably changed as a direct result of completing what I started so many years ago: even before I sell a single book, my soul basks in a holy reward—a quiet sense of honor for a promise kept.
What about you? What seeds in your life await planting? What changes are you longing to make? What has died or is in the process of dying, disappearing, or transforming? Or has something unforeseen shaken you to the core? What in your life patiently awaits the hour of rebirth? What are you longing to create? Have doors in your life recently opened? Will you walk through them? Can you taste the tantalizing possibilities that await the realization of your courage?
Is there a cherished project that awaits your attention? Want to brainstorm solutions? Or heal what stands in the way of re-engaging your passion? Contact me for a 20-minute complimentary phone consultation. Order Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out here.