Tuesday, April 22, 2008
In between moments of "Do you know where crazy is, cause you're driving your mother there" and "No, no more goldfish" and "Do you want a timeout?" (Which just proves that I'm already at "crazy" because no two year old is going to take his fingers out of his brother's nose willingly and say, "Why, yes, mother...I think I do want a timeout, thank you) Anyway, the sane moments I have this week are moments I am immersed in THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho.
If you haven't read it yet...run, don't walk to the nearest bookstore and read it NOW. Especially if you're a writer. It's seriously a spiritual experience. Okay, maybe that's just me, but WOW. I can count on one hand the number of books that have touched something deeper than my intellect. This is a book that is more like an experience. An experience of seeing the invisible thread that connects us all--to each other, to nature, to the stars, the wind, the past, present and future.
It also is a confirmation for me in some ways. I've talked before about how much I believe in serendipity and how I feel that when you're on the right path (your personal right path) you will know by the way things open up unexpectedly. Like floating down a river, instead of trying to swim up it. Not that there won't be obstacles--mountain-sized boulders and man-eating fish--but that those obstacles won't matter because what's a few bumps, bruises and delays when you are following your dreams?
"When you want something (something referring to your one great desire, not the '69 Camaro you've been dreaming about...or is that just me again?) all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."
Anyway, the book is basically a fable about finding your Personal Legend. Everyone has one.
One of the parts that I liked the most was when the main character realized at one point when he's about to give up, that it didn't matter how long it took him to reach his goal, every step was a step closer.
Isn't that a great thought to ease some of the pressure we put on ourselves? It doesn't matter if two years have gone by between step one and step two. As long as you take that step, you will never fail.
This is such an important point, especially as writers. We are trying to find personal fulfillment in a business that moves at the speed of molasses. A novel can take years to write, years to get published (with odds on forever). But the only way you don't succeed is if you give up, if you stop moving toward your purpose in life.
So, take that step! Step away from the self-doubt and dare to dream. Even if it's been a year...or ten since you took the time out to write, paint, dance, make someone laugh...whatever it is that opens your heart and pours in warm unending streams of sunshine...move toward it. It's a good day to realize you are still on the road to fulfilling your purpose in life.
How do I know?
You're breathing, aren't you?