A couple weeks ago, I went to a travel writing workshop after work. The instructor lead us through a few questions at the beginning to shake the dust from our day jobs. We ultimately wrote short travel pieces and shared them amongst ourselves and with the group. It was a wonderful experience and something I am certain I need more of in my life.
Of the initial questions that were asked, one was “what would you do if you had published a piece that you were really proud and you shared it with all of your friends and family and none of them seemed all that interested?” My first thought was: well, my mom has read every single Smile Project blog since it began – so this is improbable. Of course, she would read it and be thrilled for me! My second thought, in the spirit of the question was that I wouldn’t really care too much. In so many ways, writing is a very personal thing. Should something not be well received by my friends or family, I think I might be a little bummed, but overall, not too perturbed.
The next question was “what if the publication liked your piece so much that they asked you to do a whole series of pieces like it?” I found myself hysterically grinning from my corner barstool. I would freak out in the best possible way. I would cry. Scratch that, I would weep. The idea of having the opportunity to write more and more and make a life from it? I knew I was snowballing now, but the idea was addicting. I scribbled something in my notebook about how happy I would be.
The rest of the workshop went on and at the end we were asked to write about what our biggest takeaway was.
I flipped a few pages back in my notebook – the notebook with the compass on the front and my dreams in the spine. I wrote, what would it look like to try?
If I wrote something and got rejected or even if something got accepted but nobody cared, I might be kind of “blah” about it, but at the end of the day, I’d be fine. But if I wrote something and could mold it into something more, well that would be the best moment of my life.
So if those are the extremes – the worst case scenario being a little healthy rejection and the best case scenario being my childhood dreams coming to fruition then what am I waiting for?
Truly, what would it look like to try, to put myself out there, to unabashedly go for it. What does that look like in your life?