Monday, March 17, 2014

Setting Up for Success

Throughout this artistic journey, I’ve learned a lot of things about life and about myself. Through my successes and failures, there are lessons to be learned. I try to keep myself open to those lessons in the hope that they will guide my in the future, help me to move confidently in the direction of my dreams. There are days when the writing seems easy, when everything flows. There are other days when procrastination reigns, and I feel stuck … like I’m going nowhere fast.

Letting my desire for success drive me each and every day, this is how I’m moving forward:

1.     Write Daily: No matter where I find myself in the world Los Angeles, Regina, Montréal, Halifax, Vancouver I find the time to write. Sometimes it’s an hour, other times it’s only twenty minutes, but I write. And writing daily keeps me current.

2.     Don’t Take “No” For an Answer: Every artist knows that rejection is part of the process. As a writer, I’ve learned the importance of persistence. Sometimes I’ve had to submit a piece of writing many, many, many times before it was accepted for publication. But I believed in the work, in the story, so I became even more determined to find the story or essay a home with each rejection letter I received. I don’t let rejection overwhelm me. I let rejection be a muse.

3.      Finish Something: Sometimes I am overwhelmed by so many ideas that it is tempting to toss aside the current work-in-progress and plunge straight into a new idea. What I’ve learned to do is keep notes on new ideas and keep them for a rainy day. Finishing something a novel, musical composition, painting feels good. The completed project offers reassurance, when doubt lingers large and heavy, that I am in fact on the right path. I’m reminded that I have heeded the call of what it is I feel compelled to do in life. It reinforces — in the face of rejection and the resulting doubt about my talent that may manifest — the artist in me. The finished novel or series of paintings or musical composition says, loud and clear, “I’m an artist, hear me roar!”
4.     Godsends: It’s important for me to be surrounded by people who support and encourage me. I call these friends my godsends, spread out across North America, who are friends to me and my writing. Godsends send an e-mail or call to say how proud they are of me. They reach out to me (without asking) at a time when I need encouragement the most. They are, as Julia Cameron puts it, a “believing mirror” whose support is constant.

5.     Believe: I believe in myself and my talent as an artist. I believe that I can do great things, that I will succeed. And that belief holds me accountable, sends me daily to the page.

In setting myself up for success, I’m taking to heart the words of Audre Lorde: “When I dare to be powerful to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

No comments:

Post a Comment