I went to the RWA 2014 conference this year. Please read PJ's blogs on The Romance Dish--because that woman can certainly sum up an experience. I'm sure I'll write my version later, but I wanted to share something I learned at the conference.
The conference was filled with all day, on the hour sessions about writing, publishing, thriving, branding, marketing, and anything a writer/author needs to refresh themselves for another year of doing this. One of the sessions I chose to go to was GETTING INTO THE SPACE OF YOUR MUSE. Actually this was a two-hour class and I only stayed for one because this class overlapped with another class I wanted, but let's just say the second hour was MEDITATING and I've had classes about that already.
That arrogance of mine aside, there was something the presenters kept saying at this workshop--and it was about how there are two core beliefs we operate from as humans: fear and love. Most of the time, we operate out of fear. I totally believe this. I wrote a fantastic paper about it in college once for an exam and my teacher loved it. (Again, neither here nor there. Just saying, I've always believed this to be true. We operate out of love or fear, but never both at the same time. They're just opposite sides of a coin.) So much of the reason we're not writing, not pursuing our dreams, is out of fear. It's certainly not out of love.
We fear rejection. We fear failure. We fear success. We fear never being able to repeat a success. We fear. We fear. We fear. Fear is useful, perhaps, when it comes to outrunning snakes--I mean, those little bastards are dangerous and creepy. Not so useful in creating our best life.
So say you're a writer...or an artist...or a scientist even. You're born and you seem to have a special talent for something. You're a bit like Pinocchio, a wooden boy with real potential, that the Creator made to do exactly what you have the real potential for. You only need to practice those things, those talents, to become your best self, a real boy. But we end up running with the wrong crowd (FEAR)--the Fearmonger, the Procrastinator, the You Suck gang--and like Pinocchio, while we thought we were real, suddenly we're not, we're really not, and we tell lies to ourselves, like it doesn't matter if we don't do the things we love most, it wouldn't work out anyway, we shouldn't disappoint our families--and our nose grows. And we're very miserable. And a lot of the time, if we let it go on too long, we behave likes asses. We're wooden, we're fake, we're frauds, and we're unlovable. These are the things we tell ourselves.
But say we finally come home to the place we always belonged, to the place we were happiest, and started living the life we always imagined, like Pinocchio did. He comes home; the Creator welcomes him back; and the fairy godmother (LOVE) comes in the night and turns him into a real boy. When we come to the thing that truly makes us happy, love shows us that we are real writers...and painters and scientists.
That's what I feel like: like a wooden fraud who lies to herself all day and isn't doing THE THING she most wants because she's afraid of something, most likely everything. That's what the class taught me. Operate from a place of love instead. I was always a real writer. I just didn't believe it.