There is certainly something to be said for learning to be FEARLESS. Actually, there’s a LOT to be said about this word.
I remember as clear as spring water in winter the year I decided I was going to throw it all in and pursue my dream of seeing the stories I spin in my creative mind in print. I was coming up on the big 4-0 at that time. With a mile stone looming on the distance, I put all my energy into chasing that contract that’s elusive to the majority of writers, even the most seasoned at times. It just happened that on my birthday, yes, the one where I turned the big 4-0, I received an email from a small press out of Tennessee offering me a place at their table, albeit the kid’s table in the grand scheme of things. This offer wasn’t from one of the Big Six. Honestly, I wouldn’t even have considered this tiny press in the same landscape as the Big Sixty, it was that small and off the beaten path. But it gave me the thrill of a lifetime seeing my name on the cover of a book for the first time and finding the listing for my first title on the Amazon, as it were. Then this happened. Yada, yada, yada…a few titles later, some measure of success, exhausted, beginning to hate my career choice, yada, yada, yada, I quit. In a nutshell, I was still too afraid to fully embrace the opportunities I kept chasing but wasn’t fully open to.
It seems, my fellow biscuit and gravy eaters, that no matter how old one is, wisdom is a growth process. So is being brave. These two things also play well together if given half a chance. Wisdom is something that comes with age, only if you are open to learning, and is a great tool to have in the old toolbelt, BUT, if you aren’t fearless enough to act on what you learn, all that knowledge is basically useless.
Now, here I am, quickly approaching the big 5-0. After a bit of a hiatus away from the craft that I’ve loved since I was old enough to put two sentences together and call it a story, I decided a few months ago to come back with a fortitude to rival that of a Spartan. I am using all that knowledge I collected over the course of ten years or so in my adventures prowling about the writing industry world, most specifically that of the romance genre. But, as noted above, knowledge only gets you so far.
Fearless is my #oneword2019. I’m also tossing in a bit of flexible to go with it because in the past few weeks I’ve learned that the two go hand in hand and without a bit of flexibility being fearless isn’t nearly as effective.
Where has being fearlessly flexible in my application of the wisdom taken me since I embraced this approach to life?
I completed my first NaNo successfully in years back in November. I made a few new friends along the way. I have rejoined RWA and an online chapter where I’ve been able to attend a few online workshops, and make a few more friends. I’m prepping a piece for entrance into my online chapter’s annual writing contest. I have a list of dream presses I’m considering for submission and I keep that list on my desk to remind myself not to back down or take the path of least resistance this time. I’m reading only what I find enjoyable and the rest I toss off my e-reader without remorse and I don’t care what I paid for it. If it’s junk, it’s junk. I am writing every day and feeling good about it, not the dread that had built before when my plate was too full, I wasn’t wise enough to do what needed to be done in order to move forward, and my fears always managed to get the best of me.
My writing isn’t the only area in my life to benefit from my #oneword2019. No, sir! I’m fostering another creative outlet I’ve also been too afraid to make a move on for years. I opened my own quilting business January 2. I even have new business cards and a fancy, schmancy sticker on the back glass of my car announcing to the world where they can locate me on the net. And, I’ve taken full control of my health, which is quite exciting for me. I’ve finally learned to stop being afraid of the scale because it doesn’t own me. Being healthy is a heck of a lot more than a bright blue number on a cheap piece of plastic on my bedroom floor. I no longer stand on that cheap piece of taunting plastic once a week but about once a month to prove to myself that the changes in my body are for real and not imagined. I no longer have to stare it down with sweat beading on my brown IN FEAR of what it will tell me any given day. I rediscovered the joy of the gym since I can allow myself the notion it’s not just supposed to help me lose a few pounds but be fun. And I do not have to be afraid of what anyone else sees when I swim a lap or run a lap or try a weight machine I never tried before. I don’t care what they think. I’m there to get healthy not worry about what Mr. Musclehead sees when I pound out a few half-jacks as I near the big 5-0. And the e-reader approach to selection applies to my food choices as well. If I find something isn’t pleasing me, I toss it out without remorse and I don’t care what it cost. If it’s junk, it’s junk. Eating what’s pleasing keeps me satisfied and in control of my food instead of the other way around. Yeah, me! I’m in control of my food for the first time in my life because I’m not afraid.
Being fearless has apparently let loose something in my subconscious mind, as well. Last night I dreamed I was talking to an acquisitions editor and discussing their offer on my entire Transcend series. I say to my dreams…bring. It. On!
I am wise.
I am flexible.
I am fearless.