Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gifts


“Genius is the gold in the mine; talent is the miner who works and brings it out.”
Lady Blessington

“Though my present be small, my love goes with it.”
Maori proverb

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”




This week marked an event that I have wanted almost my entire life:  I am now a published author.  I have written a book and, as of this writing, I have sold two copies.  Now that sales level may seem laughable, but two sales on my first day isn’t bad.  I’m pretty happy with that.  More important than the sales is the fact that I did it.  I created a book.  Yes, it’s an e-book and, yes, I bought one of the copies, but none of that matters. 
The only thing that matters is that I did it.  I crossed a threshold.  I went from being one of those people who talked about a goal to being someone who actually realized it.  That night, shortly after midnight, when my book was actually published, I realized a few things:
·      I’m responsible for my life, including the successes and the failures;
·      Blaming others for my problems is a hallmark of the victimized and the defeated;
·      Reaching this goal only motivates me to reach the next goal.

This doesn’t mean my work is done.  In fact, it’s just getting started.  Two sales isn’t a lot.  I obviously hope to sell a lot more.  In fact, I have a goal for the number of books I want to sell.  That means I need to learn how to create publicity. 
I also need to begin working on my next book.  I actually already have two books completed and potentially several more if I compile my blogs into book form.  With all the blogs I’ve written, that shouldn’t be too hard.   The problem now is this blog.  I’m not sure what to write.  Maybe I’m still exhausted from getting so little sleep two nights ago when I published.  Or maybe I’m just fighting the same old resistance that I fight every time I sit down to write.  And it’s the same old arguments, lies really:
·      You have nothing new to say.
·      Nobody is even reading these.
·      Nobody cares about your work.
·      You should go bed instead of staying up late and writing.
·      So far only one person has even bought your book.  In other words, except for one person, not one friend or family member will spend even three dollars to support you.

Here’s the thing:  all of those arguments may be true.  This is possible.  Perhaps no one does care.  Perhaps no one will buy my book, not even those closest to me.  But it doesn’t matter.  It hurts, but it doesn’t matter.  There’s a dual truth here.  I’m writing and I hope to make a lot of money.  But that’s not why I’m writing.  I’m writing, because if I don’t, then I’ll feel miserable and I won’t be fulfilling my purpose. 
So I’m sitting here, when I should be asleep, feeling very alone and a little sad.   Beyond that I feel calm and determined.  I’m going to keep writing.  I’m going to continue writing blogs and books and lesson plans.  I’m going to keep doing radio shows and I’m going to keep studying.    When God gave me my gifts, He gave them to me.  I hope to share them with the world, but if the world isn’t interested, they’re still my gifts and I still need to use them to make my life better.
So here I sit, tired and sore (my back hurts) and a little discouraged and I’m still making my life better.  I’m “showing up.”  I’m doing my work.  I’m keeping my promise to myself, to God and to the world.  I’m bringing healing to my soul.  I’ve often said the writing itself is the purpose and that the results don’t matter.  Perhaps those opinions will be tested here. 
I hope not, but, as I said, it doesn’t matter.  I’m still going to Get Started and Keep Going.