A new year is nearly upon us. And in end-of-year-fashion, I have been taking stock of where I am and just how far I have to go.
And in true blogger fashion, I have been searching my soul for something to share that is profound beyond my years, beyond your years...beyond all of our years added up together! Okay, that was a lie. If you know me well, you already picked up on my prevarication. I am not so great at math...and that might get pretty involved...you know... adding up all of our years. But I remind you...I do write fiction--and the line between fiction and lies can get mighty fuzzy.
So, in my search for inspiration, I came across a comment that a good friend left for me on facebook. Her name is Karen Dufford. We grew up together out in the country waaaaay back in the 70s. Groovy, huh? She wandered off, far from her old stomping grounds, to India, and has stories to tell. I beg her to blog and share her adventures. But, not yet. (Karen, I know you will read this :-)
I had posted a quote--which I do fairly often. If I were a bit wiser, I could post my own, but for now, the wisdom of others is a far better choice. The exact quote does not matter--just her reply that included "...when I read you I am always proud to say I knew you when..."
At first blush--pun not intended, I felt like it was so undeserved. Maybe "undeserved" is not the right word. Oy! Some days I am no better with words than I am with math. Unearned, perhaps? I have not earned her proud reaction when she reads my work...
It was introspection time. I had to look at the whole picture, at the woman, at the writer, at the teenager that Karen knew when we were growing up.
I had to admit...I have come a long way. I am not tooting my own horn, because a lot of other things came out of that introspection. "A long way" is not my destination...no, not near my destination. I have a long way yet to go.
But the kind words and encouragement of my friend, Karen--among many others, gently prods me forward when I am tempted to take the easy route, and to accept that "A long way" is good enough.
She sees my success, not the many challenges ahead of me. Just the opposite of what I most often see.
How many of us do that? Not just writers. Without regard to what you do--do you see the success? Do you see how far you have come?
So, this begs the question...how do we measure success? What is the measuring stick we each use?
I think in almost all aspects of being human--it is a subtle combination of our most critical self-awareness, and the reaction of others. We look for what, who, and where, we are in the eyes of others. We can't help it; then we temper it with how we see ourselves.
One builds us up; the other tears us down.
Many of us have such unwillingness to see our accomplishments. Is it because we constantly qualify them with how far we have to go?
Debbie Maxwell Allen writes Writing While the Rice Boils, a wonderful blog that is full of writer's resources and great ruminations for and about those who embrace the craft. She recently paid a visit to my blog and left a comment, the gist of which was--maybe we (writers) should give ourselves a hug.
I think in the New Year, along with a list of goals I have set for myself, I will add a list of accomplishments. Not to rest on any laurels, you know, but to give myself that hug that Debbie suggested.
I hope you all, writers and everyone else... do the same.