Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The World Inside

There is an outside world and an inside world in everyone. My outside world here is filled to the brim with new adventures with the kids, evenings of watching the sunset on the beach with friends, arranging our new house into a space that feels like home. It is in one word...heaven.

My inside world has been full of motion. Not the happy, swirly motion that comes with life changes; but the shifting, sliding motion that comes with doubts and the necessary redefining and reshaping of life goals.

Maybe it's the light I've been basking in lately that made me soft, or maybe it's the number forty creeping up on me, or maybe it was the one rejection that really bumped me off my horse for the first time...the rejection from the agent I met in person. No big deal, I know. It happens more often than not. I think it's all of these things combined that created this internal shift, this internal doubt that I can be a writer. A writer good enough that other people want to read, to pay for, that is.

So, I finally asked myself this: At the end of your life, if you have not achieved the goal of being good enough to get published, will you be okay with that? Will you be okay with just knowing you tried your best?

At seriously considering this question, something rose up violently within me, something with teeth and claws that was ready for war, and screamed, HELL NO! And then just for good measure, ARE YOU CRAZY?

Not a nice person, this ambitious me. But, I did learn something from my own reaction that I wanted to share and that is, I don't believe people when they say they've tried their best and failed. I don't believe if I really try my best, I will fail. It's not possible. There is too much potential in all of us to fail at something we really, truly throw our hearts and souls into. Or to say it a less negative way:

I believe in me. I believe in YOU.

I used to believe that you didn't fail until you stopped trying. I no longer believe that's good enough. You fail when you don't try hard enough. It's like exercising-- you can plop your butt down on a bike and peddle for a few minutes, just long enough to fool yourself into believing you're trying, and then wonder why you're not seeing results. Or you can step up your effort...do whatever it takes to see results, to see change. Then failure is not an option. You will succeed.

I cannot imagine looking back on my life and not reaching this goal. It is engrained in my vision of my life; it is not possible to remove it and it still be my life. But, I also know that it is all up to me. It is all up to how much I'm willing to do, how much effort I'm willing to put into learning and growing until the shape and size of my life matches the shape and size of my vision.

I will not be giving that up today. Today I will write.

How about you?


Scott R. Davis said...

reaching goals is important. I watched the last lecture documentary by Diane Sawyer of Randy Pausch and his last moments on earth. So reach for the goals that are tough to reach and DREAM BIG, We all have ONE life to live. As the famous poem of Christ goes, This one solitary life. It solves and resolves so much. peace


Beth said...

you took the words out of my heart and put them down where I can see them.....re-read them....and remind myself that I need to believe more in me, or I'll never get anywhere....thank you !

Anonymous said...

Each situation, every encounter, calls for a different "best" from each of us. Our "best" must evolve every moment in order for us to achieve the goals in front of us. To me, giving up too soon is not giving my best, but allowing circumstances to best me. It's when we stop trying that we fail.

bella said...

what about me?
depends on the day. :)
But you've touched something very present for me right now and I thank-you for putting words to it, for being so honest.

Shelli said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. And I'm sorry that agent rejected you. I was rejected recently too, and yet I try and try again. I realized not long ago that the good thing about writing is that I can keep trying my whole life - doesn't matter how old I am. And this makes me happy. Because as much as I'd like to be published, I think I'd be more unhappy if I just couldn't try anymore. There are some careers that stop at a certain age. If you haven't made it by such and such age, then you're not going. Someone I love is in this situation, and my heart aches for him.

Alice said...

I'm sorry you were rejected. It's always horrid. I'm a published writer and I still get rejected often. And it feels bad every time. Of course, getting published does matter. No-one wants to write and write and never publish anything. But finally you have to do it for yourself, for your own satisfaction. One thing is for sure - writing will change your life for the better, and that happens regardless of getting published or not. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Oh rejection. Well, at least it means you're doing something. And if I die without reaching my goal of being a published author--on the one hand, I'll be dead, so it won't matter. On the other hand, I'll be pissed.

You're right about not failing until you give up. I'm not giving up.

Congratulations for getting back up again.

Tia Nevitt said...

Getting published for me is important, but it's not my life's goal. I imagine that I'll always write, but I have back-burnered my publishing efforts before, and I could do it again with no particular heartache.

However, at no point in the last 20 years have I stopped writing altogether.

My goal now is to sell a novel by the time I'm 45. That's in a few years. If I don't achieve that goal, I'll shift my emphasis on nonfiction for a while, but build up that retirement nest egg. (Nonfiction is so much easier to sell than fiction.) I'll still have 2 or 3 unsold novels that I could continue to query, and maybe writing nonfiction will open some doors.

If I don't sell anything by the time I'm 65 or 70, I'll self publish the best of my novels and distribute them to my friends and family. That way, at least they'll be read by someone.