“May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground. Carry on.”
First, let me just say that if you ever want to form a band, name it something like Smiles or Laughter or, yes, Fun. I’m not actually such a huge fan of the band but typing out, “I’m not a big fan of Fun.” just feels wrong. The uppercase just makes it worse.
Still, a fan or not, I’ve recently become obsessed with their latest song, “Carry On.” And it’s all because of that one line.
As we approach the midway point of the year, I’m looking back and reflecting on how far I’ve come. I set some pretty big goals for myself in the early hours of 2013. Goals that take work and drive and pushing far beyond the space of comfort and safety.
Goals that change my words from, “I want to be a writer.” to “I am a writer.”
I started out thinking that all I needed was that goal. Set it and forget it and watch it happen.
Of course, it has not worked out that way. At all.
And so my year has been a series of small ups and some pretty low downs. In moments of blind confidence and optimism, I’ve put myself out there, sending my words out into the world and expecting that people will latch on and take them and run with them. And sometimes, that’s happened. But more often than not, it hasn’t. And the rejections have set me back.
In other moments, ones of fear and self-doubt, I’ve stopped myself before I even got started. I string words together in my head and then convince myself that my ideas are flawed before I even open my laptop. I read the words of others, those who have built careers around calling themselves ‘writer’ and I tell myself I am not that good. I see those who have been at this same goal, “I am a writer” for nearly as long as me, making great strides and accepting new positions and seeing their words and, importantly, their by-lines, in well-read places. And I wonder why. Why have they gone so far and I am still here? Barely steps ahead of where I was this time last year. Or the year before that. How did they get there and why can’t I go too?
It’s all there in that one line.
The sound of my feet upon the ground. The sound of my feet is faint, a mere pitter patter of tip toes across a carpet. Sometimes, there is no sound at all.
I’ve always done well with externally placed deadlines. Tell me what to do by when and you can count on me. Deadlines that I have to place on myself? Those are squishy. Nobody will be let down if I don’t meet that one. Or so I’d tell myself.
Now I’m realizing that yes, someone will be let down. Me. I will be let down if I don’t meet that deadline. My dreams will be let down. My family, who is supporting me and giving me all the motivation in the world, will be let down.
And so I’m starting this second half of the year with a renewed focus. At the end of the six months ahead, I want to look back and hear my feet upon the ground. I hope and I pray that there are results there too but, results aside, I want the evidence that I tried. Let the queries and pitches and words fly from my fingers in swarms. Let the rejection letters pile up if they must because I know it takes some of those to get to the moments of smiles and celebration.
“We are shining stars. We are invincible. We are who we are.” ~Fun
Because nothing motivates like having someone (or several someones) to report to, I will begin to report my progress here. I want you, my friends who come here and read my words and support me in the most amazing ways, to keep me accountable. I need that.
I can feel the tides shifting. I’m ready now.
“No one’s ever gonna stop us now.” ~ Fun
After watching this video, I may be changing my opinion about the band. They are Fun.
I’m collecting a fair amount of helpful resource as I carry on right now. For my writer friends out there (and, selfishly, for my own quick reference) I’ve created a page to collect everything I’m finding helpful. If you are a writer, or don’t think you are yet but want to be, check this out and check back often as I keep it updated. And if you have a resource that you’re willing to share, send it along and I’ll add it up there.
linking up with Shell