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  • "Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do your fears."
    ~ Richard Wilkins

    Over the past couple of days, I've revealed to myself (and you) that I'd like to be a writer, or shall I say, to simply "write" for "a living".

    I mentioned that this held certain connotations for me, and what I really meant by this is that I simply don't know HOW to be a writer.

    I do know how to write, which gets easier and easier the more I do it, and stay tied in to my spiritual source in the morning.

    But what about the "profession of writing"?

    Today, I'd like to lay out all of the excuses that my egotistical mind has made up, to keep me from achieving my goals and dreams, along with some of the excuses my friend put forth the other day when we chatted.

    My hope is that you also might see yourself clearly in them, and recognize your own voice of doubt, so you can overcome it.

    ------- The Voice of Doubt

    1. I need to have a quiet room, where I can sit alone, to think and write. Mind you, I don't have it right now, as I "just write", but I've been telling myself that until I have this room to myself, I can't focus enough to write a book, to be "a writer".

    2. I don't know how to make money at this, so I focus my efforts instead on activities that I think are more productive, even if I don't enjoy them. Maybe I should just buckle down and get a part-time job (along with my full time villa job) and just write on the side.

    3. Someone offered the brilliant suggestion to me of putting my work together in a collection of essays. My doubting mind comes back with "well who would buy that"?

    4. I'm not really all that creative. Do I just rework what others have had to say? Is my work plagiarizing others when I quote people?

    5. I don't know how to get something published. I don't know how to lay out a book. What software should I use? (mind you, most books came via pen and typewriter!)

    6. I really wasn't that great at English when I was in school. I didn't get an education to become a writer, so who am I to think I can put a book together. (acknowledging that I graduated from an Ivy League school with honors still doesn't seem to quiet this voice!)

    7. There are so many others out there who know way more than I do about (*blank*) (for me, it's the Buddha, philosophy and theology) or (plant based cooking). I'm going to come across as a stupid novice, which will be embarrassing.

    --------- The Voice of Reason, Inspiration & Wisdom

    To all the other doubting minds out there, I offer a few words of timeless wisdom .....

    1. "Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it." ~ Napoleon Hill

    Recall that Napoleon Hill said the mark of genuine wisdom is modesty and silence. If I hold all of these self-doubts on my own, I can be assured that through the law of attraction, if I choose to verbally express my dreams (with these doubts in the background), I will be confronted with people who will also doubt me.

    Be VERY careful with whom you choose to share your aspirations. "Keep your own counsel !!"

    Unless you know someone to be 100% supportive of your work, in all aspects, you should "keep a closed mouth and open eyes and ears." "Close friends and relatives while not meaning to do so, often handicap us through 'opinions' and sometimes ridicule, thinking they are being humorous."

    In the words of Steve Jobs: "Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

    2. "Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing" ~ Salvador Dali

    This sentiment has been expressed by many creative geniuses through the ages. One of Einstein's quotes "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources" implies that most of us take ideas that are already circulating, and recreate. Steve Jobs, of course, knew this when he famously proclaimed that “creativity is just connecting things”.

    Helen Keller was in fact charged, and acquitted of plagiarism. This ordeal prompted her friend Mark Twain to write:

    "Oh, dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that ‘plagiarism’ farce! As if there was much of anything in any human utterance, oral or written, except plagiarism! The kernel, the soul — let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances — is plagiarism. When a great orator makes a great speech you are listening to ten centuries and ten thousand men — but we call it his speech, and really some exceedingly small portion of it is his. But not enough to signify. It is merely a Waterloo. It is Wellington’s battle, in some degree, and we call it his; but there are others that contributed. It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a telephone or any other important thing — and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite — that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that."

    In spending time to come to understand what it takes to really be a writer, I feel more confident about my own ideas, and how I choose to express them. I'll leave the final details to a publisher, when that time comes. Let them figure out who's permission needs to be secured, if at all. Remember, just write.

    3. "Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results." ~ Dennis Wholey

    Note that a vast majority of my fears come from already anticipating the results. I haven't even written the book yet!

    To quote Osho:

    "The first thing to be remembered: Don't confine creativity to anything in particular. A man is creative – and if he is creative, whatsoever he does, even if he walks, you can see in his walking there is creativity. Even if he sits silently and does nothing, even non-doing will be a creative act. Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree doing nothing is the greatest creator the world has ever known. Once you understand it – that it is you, the person, who is creative or uncreative – then this problem disappears."

    "Creativity means loving whatsoever you do – enjoying, celebrating it, as a gift of existence! Maybe nobody comes to know about it. Who is going to praise Paras for cleaning this floor? History will not take any account of it; newspapers will not publish her name and pictures – but that is irrelevant. She enjoyed it. The value is intrinsic."

    "So if you are looking for fame and then you think you are creative – if you become famous like Picasso, then you are creative - then you will miss it. Then you are, in fact, not creative at all: you are a politician, ambitious. If fame happens, good. If it doesn't happen, good. It should not be the consideration."

    "The consideration should be that you are enjoying whatsoever you are doing. It is your love-affair."

    Yesterday, I took action. My boyfriend built my desk for me in another area of our home (which he is happily using this morning, doing his own creative thing!). I reworked my schedule, to dedicate time to compiling my book. The worry of money, I believe, is one of the biggest killers of creativity. I am borrowing money from my retirement fund to see me through, so I'm not worrying about the outcome. Maybe in the words of Napoleon Hill, this is my "burning of the bridge". I have faith in my abilities, even over the voice of doubt, which is much greater than the mustard seed ....

    --------
    Almost as if another sign from the universe, is it any surprise that as I opened my computer to write this morning, I see that one of my favorite bloggers and authors - Leo Babauta of Zen Habits - just wrote a post entitled "How I Tackle a Big Writing Project"
    http://zenhabits.net/unblocked/

    Carry on friends. Carry on!!

    "The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose is to give it away."
    ~Joy J. Golliver

    Any other "Voices of Doubt" you wish to share and acknowledge?
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