By Cynthia Herron
As a little girl, I created masterpieces. I rocked my world with art and zany inventions.
I made stuff from unusual materials—egg cartons, fabric swatches, wallpaper samples—you name it. I used it.
I adored anything I could put my creative stamp on and call my own.
I liked to color, paint, and make things with my hands as kids so often do, except I was the one who used glitter in addition to crayons. I chose the neon palette over the favored colors. I shunned same in favor of bling.
In Vacation Bible School, my macaroni necklaces rivaled Sally Show-Off’s because I used gold spray paint and not the standard watercolors—watercolors being the safer choice that washed easily from little hands and clothing.
I wasn’t a rule breaker, and yet, my creative spirit yearned for something more.
At that age I didn’t strive to be different, but honestly, I didn’t know any other six-year-old who could sit for hours, magazines and catalogs in hand, and write ten-page stories about fashionably dressed people, pretty lipsticks, and garden hoses…or other weird things.
To me, writing made sense. It colored a black and white world in delightful shades of possible.
Adult creatives are no different from their six-year-old selves. Not really.
It takes a confident, think-beyond-the-lines mentality to succeed in the arts. Writing, especially, demands a vivid imagination, but more than that, it takes a winning mindset to sustain it.
Writing is more than creating. It’s the can-do (no, make that will-do) attitude writers must have as we blaze old trails with new ideas.
It’s the spirit of resilience, the steadfast approach, that separates the wills from the won’ts.
Mature writers (the wills) will strike a healthy balance between humility and cockiness. They’ll own their confidence, but not use it distastefully. They’ll realize their potential and accept help from those who’ve traveled the road longer.
In other words, a gracious heart + a willing spirit + an undeterred work ethic = unlimited potential.
In contrast, the won’ts will plow full steam ahead and disregard proprieties and common sense. They’ll feel entitled and use their “friends” (their connections) to their gain. When a roadblock hits, they’ll scratch their heads and wonder what exactly happened. Potential flies out the window when ego flies in.
Mature writers will accept the reality—this is business and the writing business is hard. It doesn’t advance our cause when we poke our heads in the sand.
There will always be mountains and valleys. There will always be God-ordained, glorious moments even as life ebbs and flows in an ever-present cycle of joys and heartaches, successes and losses.
Situations may shape us, but our self-confidence grounds us.
We don’t have to have it all together. We don’t have to put on airs or pretend we’re something we’re not.
Mature writers, confident writers, acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses and continue evolving. Growing. Learning. Facing the hard and mastering the difficult.
We may write in similar genres. We may use similar words. We may even share a similar story. Still—your story is not my story. And my story is not yours.
There’s the rub. The beauty. The gift.
And when you as a writer own that, that will rock your writing world.
Your gift will cause you to take (healthy) risks you might not otherwise.
Your gift will invite you to explore new avenues.
Your gift will send doubt packing.
When you grasp the potential of your gift, it’s gut-jarring. And sometimes, weary’s okay. It’s temporary.
Sip some joe. Have a brownie.
Consider your story. The one only you can write.
How can we pray for you today?When you grasp the potential of your gift, it’s gut-jarring. Here’s the pick-me-up you need today! @C_herronauthor #ACFWblogs #writing #encouragement Click To Tweet
Cynthia Herron writes Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. She is a 2017 ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2016 ACFW Genesis (Double) Finalist, and a 2015 ACFW First Impressions Winner. Her work is represented by WordServe Literary. Her Hope Discovered, Cindy’s début novel and the first in a three-book series, released December 2018 with Mountain Brook Ink. Join Cindy at her online home or hang out with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.