A couple of years ago I wrote this blog post, The Strange, Strange World of Writers, a humorous, (and tiny bit exaggerated), glimpse into the mind of writers. The point of the post was to give non-writers, or non-creatives, some understanding into the weird ways and habits of their loved ones, who might happen to be writers, published or not. One of my favorite quotes is by Rudyard Kipling, and states, "Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful' and sitting in the shade." In other words, for me personally, as a writer, I must sit my ass down and actually do the dream I desire to manifest. That takes time and dedication and work."Where there is no vision, the people perish." ~ Proverbs 29:18
Two and half years has gone by since I fully committed myself to this act of writing publicly. It was the very act of creating this blog site that anchored that decision to the ground. We must act to anchor a decision, and get the ball rolling toward its outcome. A decision made without action following to fulfill it will eventually die a painful death. For me, thus far, it's been a long hard road, but not because of the practice of writing itself. Frankly, if not for this practice of writing, and the striving toward a vision, I'd probably be a basket case by now.
This morning, I read this blog, How Hard Is It To Turn Pro?, by Steven Pressfield. I can't even express how much I needed to read these words. Because it isn't just about the act of writing, but about making any real personal change, and the sheer mountain of resistance a person can sometimes face when enacting that change, from both the inside and outside of oneself. If I was merely dealing with my own resistance, I'd be alright. But what I didn't anticipate was also having to deal with, simultaneously, the resistance I've faced from the outside. Frankly, I've been in a sort of shock over the reactions from this decision I made several years ago. Because in the end, it's about me, and a vision I have, and the road to its completion. It's that simple. How folks can manage to squirrel it around inside their mind to make what I am doing over here about themselves, taking it personal in any way, and believing it is hurting them in some mysterious form, is beyond me. The only thing I can manage to understand about it all is that they grew accustomed to my being a certain way, and when I began making what I felt to be necessary changes to my own life, it somehow threatened their own view of me.
I haven't changed. I've changed my ways.
I had part two of this little series already written before I posted part one, yet I've hesitated over publishing it, (obviously), because it felt a bit raw, displaying a vulnerability I wasn't sure I wanted to share. You might read it and wonder what the big deal is, but for me, it's a big deal. It goes right to the heart of what the past several years have been like for me on this road to writing publicly. And I'm not alone. I fully recognize I do not own the only corner to this kind of experience, nor that it has only to do with writing. There are, by far, way too many I have witnessed struggling with this same kind of weird phenomenon. I understand it might be difficult to believe, because I'm aware there are folks who have the luxury of time and space, money and support, to do exactly the same thing I'm doing. Frankly, I'm still trying to come to grips with it myself. I don't understand. I don't understand the flack, and the complete lack of support for a dream. Those of you who have it, seriously, thank your lucky stars. I've always been a supporter of dreams and vision. The only thing I see differently now, as opposed to what I was doing in the past, is that now it's my dream, my vision, which for so long was left on the back burner, that I am now supporting in full.
There are some who consider that I am in the financial state I've been in because of this decision to write. What they fail to grasp is it is precisely because of being in, and experiencing this state of impoverished affairs that led me to this decision. Particularly after standing in a line, with other financially impoverished souls to obtain free groceries so my family and I would have something to eat. Standing in that line for hours, watching all those poor people, brought the quote I shared at the beginning of this blog post to mind, and it became for me not just a nice little saying, but something very, very real. Because the only difference I saw between me and the majority of those other folks standing in line with me was a lack of vision. I've been attuned to people's dreams they hold secretly within themselves for a long time, and I could see no vision in most of the folks standing with me. None. Zero. And that concerned me, and broke my heart, because I knew that somewhere down the line in their individual lives, they'd given up on a vision, or had it beaten out of them. A vision, a dream that once lived and breathed inside them. And I also knew I was this close to doing the same thing. I felt I had nothing left to me except for this vision, this dream. So instead of letting it die, I took a step toward it. Then another step...and another.
Perhaps, when all is said and done, it will end up being a good thing, all this flack. Because what all of this has evoked in me is that famous stubborn streak inherited from my family line, with me doing a very good impression of making like a tree and taking root. It's driven me underground. And as Steven Pressfield pointed out in his recent post I linked above, "You turn pro in secret. Not even the NSA knows you did it." This approach might come back to bite me on the ass later, but now I'm in the mindset that I don't really care how long it takes me, or if I die trying, and it might be messy, and appear abstract, but come hell or high water, I'm doing it.
Why am I sharing this personal journey here? Because I'm not alone in it. And it's truthful people like Steven Pressfield who help me know that somewhere, out there, are more people who struggle to change their lives for the better. Who struggle with bringing a dream or vision to manifestation. Who, for some ungodly reason, are bumping up against a non-supportive culture, whether it's within their own family, or in society at large, who are in many ways anti-visionaries, and desire everyone to stay within the status quo. For people who might be comparing themselves to those who only give you the "up" side, or the nice, shiny version of bringing a dream to life, or who might be trying to sell you an "easy-how-to-guide" for manifesting them. It's for those people who might be comparing themselves to others who make it appear, or who like to say it's easy. But IF it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
I know those precious, beautiful dreams tucked inside of those I've met along the way, and those who gave them up, or let them die, and while some dreams must go as we narrow our field of vision along the way, there is one shining dream that does in fact remain, and that our souls have been silently leading us toward. And it wasn't until I began to commit fully to the one tucked inside my own heart that my eyes and ears were opened to just what so many people were talking about when they said it wasn't that easy, and why they felt such a huge temptation to let their dreams die. We don't often hear about the shadow side that the majority of us deal with to even begin to enact these necessary changes. And that is why Steven Pressfield can truthfully say, "I know how hard it was. I know the price you paid. I know the guts it took. I know how scared you are, and I know how weird and alone it feels. I salute you. You are one in ten thousand. You have done what many, many talk about, but damn few actually do."
I'm sharing this journey with you in hopes that it will give you the Umph you need to be "the one in ten thousand." A dream...a simple vision...is sometimes all we've got to pull ourselves up out of the mud, when we've got nothing left to us, and it gives us the will to live, a reason to get up in the morning. That's why it doesn't matter if I "make" it or not, because it is the thing I'm living for, the very fuel that keeps me going. It's the magic spark within that says yes! to life, and living, and it is the true gold worth going after. If you don't have the support coming from the outside, do it for yourself. Support your own dream.
Part two of this little series will be posted tomorrow.