Do What Makes You Come Alive!
I remember when I was a little girl and the only thing I wanted to be was the exact opposite of what I was. I wanted to be white with long, blond hair and blue eyes. I wanted to be rich with both a mommy and a daddy and more than anything; I wanted to be listened to and understood.
As I grew up, I lost the desire to be a white woman, but I did get my blond hair when I was in college... it was more a dishwater blond, but blond all the same. I digress. I never sprouted blue eyes, shout out to Pecola Breedlove, and for that, I am eternally grateful 😂. I still want to be rich and I still wish I had both a mommy and a daddy, but somethings are out of my control. And more than anything, I still want to be listened to and understood.
When I graduated from Carolina, USC-Columbia, I knew I wanted to be a writer and I also knew I had student loans out the ass and would have to start paying them back soon. Instead of following my passion, I followed my responsibilities and ended up in banking. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what made me come alive! Howard Thurman stated, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
I knew there was more for me, but I had not been raised to live a passionate life. I had been raised to live a responsible life, a life where I could pay my bills, provide for myself, and have health insurance.
What I wanted was PASSION!
It took me more than fourteen years after graduating with my bachelors degree before I gave myself permission to follow my passion. Fourteen years, a marriage, home purchase, three children, a foreclosure, a career in education, a master's degree, and being diagnosed with lupus before I decided I was ready to come alive and write.
It was the most difficult decision I ever made. I was scared. Hell, I'm still scared. I quickly banged out an e-book in 2013 and published it with Lulu self-publishing and was so very proud of myself. When I started writing the prequel, which turned out to actually be the first book in the series; I went back and read the first book and realized three things.
- Knowing what my passion is, is only the beginning of living my passion.
- Owning my passion allows me to own my shortcomings, as well.
- To live my passion, I must embrace it, study it, and most importantly... be worthy of it.
I promptly made my first book unavailable for purchase and took some time to fully embrace my need to write. I decided to work as a freelance editor for a couple of years while I honed my craft. Best decision of my life! Working with other writers and helping them bring their stories alive, made me a better writer. I continued to work on my true first novel, understanding I could not rush or force the story. When it was ready, I would know. I completed my first novel and it will be available for purchase in August of 2018! I learned three different things this time around.
1. It is not enough to know my passion is writing. I must love, respect, and honor the process my passion requires. Writing has taught me patience and persistence. I am learning humility as I follow this passion.
2. Acknowledging what I know and don't know is liberating. Following my passion frees me from the need to compete with anyone outside of myself. Living as a writer has given me a boldness and honesty which enables me to encourage and support others without feeling a hint of jealousy are ill-will.
3. Living through my passion makes me worthy of every gift, every opportunity, and every joy I experience as a writer. I am worthy to live my passion because I realize it's an honor and a privilege to be gifted with the responsibility to see and tell stories for those who can't.
Living through and in my passion is both a gift and a curse. A gift because I am alive and fulfilled every day of my life without any more than my pen and journal and my mind and imagination. It is a curse because I must stay worthy and stay worthy will not allow me to accept anything less than my best... better than my best. So, I can become a little crazy about writing, but most people who fool with me know and understand it's just my way.
Keep writing and stay Enchanted.