Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Potential



First, a reminder that Unicorn Bell is up and running. Today Carol is talking about loglines, so check it out.

Second, how often do you think about your potential? I mean, really think about it. We have so much potential in so many different areas of our lives, that I'm willing to bet we miss a lot about ourselves.

For instance, last night my two daughters performed in a dance concert at their school. Dance is offered as an elective. One daughter chose this elective, the other was put there. Because of this and the fact that the one daughter grew really fast (she's 5'6" and not yet 14), I went into the school with a certain expectation of what I would see.

I was wrong.

So wrong that I was in tears.

Let me give some background. K (who wrote this guest post) is my oldest. She suffers from generalized anxiety, but social interactions give her an especially hard time. Over the last two years she has slowly closed herself off so as not to feel pain or disappointment, but this means she's not happy very often either. 
In fact, if you think of Violet from the Incredibles you will know exactly how my daughter functions in society. K doesn't wear black, but she never wears shorts, always wears a sweater (even in summer), and never pulls her hair back.

She performed in the first dance and did a good job. Some of the awkwardness was apparent but it was alright. She came out for the second dance and I was struck by how beautiful she is. She had pulled her hair back in a half ponytail, the rest hanging long down her back.

She walked with confidence to the center of the stage with her group.

And she lost herself in the music (embedding disabled) and the dance. It was AMAZING.

She looked like a dancer.

She was a dancer.

For that moment I could see the potential that has been buried beneath her anxiety and anger. I wept because as a mother you ache for your children to be happy and fulfilled in whatever they choose to do. K is at the jumping off point and I want her to see the beauty within herself. To have the confidence to follow her heart.

For that moment she opened herself up to feel something and I felt blessed to witness it.

As writers we do the same things. We let our anxiety or anger with how things work in this business hold us back. Maybe we try to fit ourselves into a mold we think the publishing world wants in order to reach our goals.

We need to stop. We need to listen to our hearts and let the stories flow from that place deep within us that we keep hidden out of fear.

Revision will still be necessary, but think of the lives we can touch when we are willing to bare our souls. I know I hold a lot back out of fear of being judged.

Do you hold back the best parts of yourself when you write?