Monday, October 20, 2014

Do You Believe ...?

As I sit down to write, it’s actually Saturday morning (18 October 2014). It’s a typical fall Toronto day cool and cloudy with a chance of showers. The day mimics my mood. I am wrapped up in anxiousness and uncertainty. I feel like I have lost my way.

My whole life I have set high expectations for myself, and my expectations were high again for this vacation time. I wanted to get into a regular writing routine, make real progress on two writing projects. I wanted to run three or four times a week. I wanted to try a few new recipes, go through my writing drawer and organize projects, pull out my fall clothes … I have been running. I’ve done some writing, but writing lately has been uphill. Like at the beginning of the year, I’m having trouble focusing, and it feels like I’m letting procrastination ride roughshod over me.

I’ve been writing, committed to the craft as I pursue a dream, for almost twenty years. While I know that a career in the arts is filled with seasons of drought and seasons of abundance, it’s the seasons of drought that create doubt. As rejections pile up, or there simply is no response at all to my submissions, I begin to doubt myself, my talent, and the path I have chosen for myself. And when that doubt takes hold, implants itself in my thoughts, it has the power to pin me down, throw me off course.

Do you believe …? I’m not asking about your belief in God or a higher power. I’m asking if you believe in yourself? Today I needed to remind myself that a career in the arts takes faith and courage. I have to believe in myself. I have to have faith that I can succeed and remain faithful to the cause. I have to have the courage to carry on through those seasons of drought as much as those seasons of abundance. That is the only way for me to keep moving confidently in the direction of my dreams. It is my antidote to staving off my fear of failure, letting my desire for success drive me each and every day.

Anatole France reminds us that, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

So today I will act, and dream, and believe.

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