Full disclosure: Two years ago I created a blog because, as a writer of children’s books, I read and heard ad infinitum…”You must have a web presence – a blog at the very least.” So, off I went to dutifully do what I was told to do in the interest of my burgeoning writing career. But guess what? After agonizing for days over the design, the header picture, the colors, and the tabs, finally writing that initial post and feeling the broo ha ha…I never wrote another word for that blog. Why? At the time it felt like a chore; something I had to do. I wasn’t motivated. I had nothing sparking my fancy, and who wants to read a bunch of empty words?
But very recently, the more important reason for not carrying on unexpectedly arrived on my cranial doorstep. That blog wasn’t authentic. It was my feeble attempt at fitting into the big, broad world of published and hoping-to-be published children’s authors. What did I have to talk about? Nothing that made me pull my car over and scribble on my hand so I wouldn’t forget. Nothing that made me want to share the link with even my family members (who will always say they love you, even if you’re dull as bread).
One of the magical moments as a writer is when an idea shows up, unannounced, without any searching, and at the most unlikely times or places. It’s kind of like Hollywood’s ideal romantic meeting…”There s/he is, across the room. Eyes lock. Instantly they KNOW.”
This month has been particularly “busy” (don’t we all love to say that?) to the point where I had to stop – literally – to look at the clouds dotting the sky and ask myself, “What am I doing? Am I really ‘living’ or am I just doing a bunch of things that may or may not matter in life?” Which led me to the monologue in my head about what IS most important (which, in truth, I probably do at least once a year), and how do I keep myself in check so that I don’t lose sight of it amidst daily craziness? And that, my friends, is when the unannounced idea appeared: I could blog about life’s lessons that remind me what’s really important; what truly matters! And THAT my observing, introspective, laugh at life self has a lot to say about. THAT is authentic to me. I had found my fluglebinder! (Huh? Remember Tom Cruise on the beach in Risky Business?)
Sometimes life’s lessons come from within. Sometimes they are recycled from other people. And sometimes they come from books. Wherever they come from, LISTEN.
Life Lesson #1: Let your authentic self – not others, not “the market”, not society at large – guide you in all that you do and say. You cannot go wrong if you do.
(click book cover to get to author’s website)