A person can have the biggest blessing ever fall right in his or her lap, but it won’t matter if the person doesn’t recognize it as such or treat it as such, especially if he or she ends up treating it as just an ordinary gift. Ordinary gifts sometimes are placed in the back of the closet and forgotten about. When the recipient remembers to open it, it may be too late. For everything, there is an expiration date. A lot of times we straddle the fence, feeling bullied by our fears and choose to stay on the fence rather than jump down and take a chance. All because we don’t realize that even blessings come with expiration dates. –Rosalind Guy
At the beginning of this year, I declared I would not be doing the whole New Year’s resolution thing and I didn’t, but I did set goals. Lately, my goals have become somewhat overshadowed by circumstances I’ve created for myself. This was supposed to be the year that I dedicated all my free time to promoting myself and my writing. One act every day is supposed to work toward the goal of advancing myself in the publishing world. I created one of those lists that includes among the listed items, being recognized internationally for my work.
I got side-tracked and it’s, now, time to get back on the right track. Many years ago, when I was working hard to become a published writer, I wrote a love story called For Katie’s Sake. I have said it before: back then I thought I was a fire ass writer and I had no problem selling myself. I sent my stuff out regularly and en masse and read everything related to writing that I could get my hands on. I had the misfortune to read a piece of advice that advised aspiring writers that once they caught the attention of a publisher, if the publisher demanded changes to the work, but the writer didn’t want to compromise the vision they had for their work, then they shouldn’t feel they have to accept the suggestions. It was something along those lines. And, by Jove, I listened.
Hmm. Yeah, okay, right. So, as I said: For Katie’s Sake. A big name publishing house expressed interest in the novel. This publishing house had just started a young adult romance line and thought the book would be perfect for it. But they asked me to change the ending; they wanted a happily ever after ending. My ending was anything but. You know what this fool did? I liked the story with the ending it had, so I said “I don’t want to change my ending.” In essence, I told this big publishing house thanks, but no thanks.
Fast forward a little more than 15 years and said novel is resting in the bottom of my “writer’s closet.” I do have two books that have been self-published, but I am nowhere near where I’d like to be as a writer. Hindsight is 20/20, right?
I threw away a blessing with both hands. I know that now. I was a young fool. I’ve learned my lesson. That door is now closed, of course. It’s way past the expiration date for that particular opportunity, so I have to come up with another plan. And that’s what I’m doing.
Because of things I’ve experienced, I’ve created a short list of tips for those who aspire to achieve success in the arts. The most important thing to remember about advice, though, is that what works for one person may not work for another. So, here’s my two cents:
1. Take advice about those things that are important to you with a grain of salt. Don’t be so naïve to believe that every piece of advice offered about your situation is gospel.
2. Before you make a move, check your heart’s passion. Look carefully at the pros and cons for all available options.
3. Ask for advice if you must, but remember you are the one who will have to live with the consequences of your decision(s).
4. Be open to possibilities, especially those related to your life’s passion.
5. Dream big. Expect big. Work toward achieving the big. You only have one life to live. Carpe diem the hell out of this life.
6. Only take action that will satisfy your heart’s desire.
7. Only take action that will satisfy your heart’s desire.
8. Only take action that will satisfy your heart’s desire.
9. Only take action that will satisfy your heart’s desire.
10. Don’t try to live your life like anyone else. Be the original you were created to be. You have your own unique story to tell and you won’t be able to tell it if you’re running around trying to imitate others or if you are living your life for other people.
Today, in the car, my son and I were trying to figure out the big secret behind living a fulfilled life. I told him that, at the end of my life, I don’t want to have regrets because I’ve spent all my time worried about things that didn’t matter. You know what we realized? That the only thing that matters is love. Not just relationship love, but that is a biggie. But also love of self, loving what you’re doing with your life, and loving those people who are important in your life.
When I worked as a reporter, I interviewed this PR specialist who told me that every day when she dropped her daughter off at school, she would leave her with the words: “Make today a great day.” That was my ‘aha ‘moment. But I’m going to take it further and say make this life a great one.
I hope you got something helpful from this. But, remember, take it all with a grain of salt. What works for one person may not work for another. As for me, I’m ready for the opportunity that will propel me forward in life. I will not be straddling any fences anytime soon.
Peace & Love,