I recently attended a class by Ali Rodriguez, a local business consultant who spoke on “Passion to the Fifth Power”. Her lecture, though business in nature, felt more like the words of some sort of Indian yogi than someone teaching us how to get rich quick. I liked her right away.
Ali’s shtick was all about overcoming fear, finding self-confidence, and listening to your gut. She said turn off the voices around you and focus on what you want, not what everyone else wants for you.
Here’s what I know about me: My outside voices are loud. In regards to business they’re constantly telling me, “You should be marketing more. You should be on Twitter. You should be doing book tours. You should, you should, you should.”
But when I step back from those voices and listen to my heart I hear, “Write, write, write. Spend time with your family. Bake a cake. Find joy in the simple things in life. The other stuff will come later. And if it doesn’t, oh well, at least you lived a wonderful life.”
So over the past few months I’ve been watching as my goals shift from trying to impress the world, to simply letting it all go, allowing myself be truly me.
That’s big stuff.
I’m finding when I listen to my gut and follow what it says I am happy. I am content and my writing is good.
Last night I went to dinner with some friends. Tim Baker and Nadine King. I love these two. We have this playfully antagonistic relationship that borders on hostile if we’re not careful. If anyone else in the restaurant was to guess our connection they’d suppose we were a healthy, if not moderately dysfunctional family.
Tim is another local author. We don’t always see eye to eye. I’m pretty sure Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald got into similar disagreements in their time. Tim worries about my career path as a writer. It concerns him to see me flitting about, wasting my time on different marketing techniques, only to have them fail.
To him, my actions are like that of a butterfly, flitting about, testing each direction, but never really going much of anywhere. I wont deny that I like to flit about. To me it keeps life fun and it keep my spirit alive but from our conversations I’m learning that to some I come off as flighty and unfocused.
Tim on the other hand is very focused and sticks to the path. He moves though his life in straight lines. He makes a calculated plan and moves forward. Tim, I suppose is sort of like a dragon. A dragon has strength, he has determination, and he certainly doesn’t falter with a shift in the breeze. A dragon has goals and power.
How cool it would be to be a dragon. He gets stuff done, impresses people with his strength and conviction. But as a writer I am not a dragon. (I’m a dragon in other areas of my life, but that’s a different post)
Right now, I’m fancying simplicity, vibrancy, and beauty in the detail. I’m scouting out flowers, taking a sip here and there and smiling. And in the end, like every female butterfly, I will lay my eggs (or in my case create a really good book or two).
The route I’m going isn’t going to get me thousands of book sales, but right now it is okay. I know it’s not the route for everyone, It’s certainly not Tim’s, but that’s okay too. I can only be me. As long as my gut keeps pointing me in this gentle direction, I’ll flutter my wings and eventually make my way there.
Side note: The letters between Hemingway and Fitzgerald make me laugh. After bashing his friend’s manuscript, Hemingway says in a letter to him: “It’s a lot better than I say. But it’s not as good as you can do.” I would have loved to have sat down with those two, plus, maybe Tim and seen what kind of crazy discussions we’d land ourselves in. I can guarantee there’d be yelling…and maybe a little crying (from Tim, of course)
Here are two links their letters: