This past weekend, I spent more time on the phone than I have in a very long time. I can’t describe everything here, but it was eye-opening, and I’m grateful for all that I learned.
The following chat is with a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. I’m blessed to have her around.
My mind is drawing a big blank. I didn’t really sleep last night, and I won’t get any real sleep until Saturday night. I can’t muster the energy to form a complete thought right now. I guess … life is hard in so many ways. It comes at us from so many directions. I hope all my friends out there find what they’re looking for. You’ll see I don’t give awesome advice, but it’s nice just to be there for them.
friend: May, I lost my voice (writing) and I’m finding it, but the way it’s coming through is in the corporate bs kind of writing and it’s stunted and stifled and choked.
10:08 PM I thought of you, and all that writing you started doing in NYC, and the blog, and the classes and how you’ve been like a dog with a bone
Never letting up. And I admire that.
me: friend, that’s really kind
friend: So I realized, I have to write for myself if I want anyone to appreciate/value my gift.
I can’t wait for organizations to affirm what i
10:09 PM ‘m doing and then get all bent out of shape when they want something else.
Instead of sitting there crying and wondering if I even have a gift at all.
10:10 PM And my mind kept returning to you..and your determination and your persistence iwth it.
10:11 PM I want that, but fear I don’t have it. Or that I’m too afraid to really try. I keep myself in a no-win situation, that way I can always blame so many other factors and secretly think “they just don’t know a great writing voice when they read it”
I thought I had somethign to offer, but tonight I realize, [company] doesn’t want it.
10:12 PM it hurts. But it’s good to know. and like I said. There’s a choice before me. The truth is there to seize or not.
Thanks for being patient with me. Encouraging my gifts, seeing them, etc.
me: you know i’m there for you. whatever you need
10:13 PM keep up the patience with yourself
friend: Thanks May. That’s amazing to me right now. But true, if you say so.
Does any of this resonate with you having “watched” me for years?
10:15 PM me: yes, it comes and goes for me
phases and such
i went through a time last semester when i was wondering constantly if i’ve forgotten how to write
friend: I guess what I’m asking is does it seem that I have gifts I don’t know how to let out, or seem to squander
10:16 PM me: i think it’s important to find appropriate outlets for your gifts
which can be hard to do
putting feelers out there
and risking rejection
10:17 PM knowing how those gifts manifest is quite the process as well
you just have to keep writing
letting people read your stuff. getting feedback
10:18 PM get with other creatives who are actively engaging in a community
find out where they’re submitting
get some positive comments, ride on that momentum
10:19 PM you have talent
but we can’t feed our own fires all the time
we do need people
and writing is about reaching out to an audience and touching them somehow
i know you’ve heard all this before
10:20 PM but if it’s what you want, it’s worth repeating
friend: I so need to hear it all again. thanks.
10:21 PM I feel like deep down I have a voice, a fire, a spark at least but it’s so hard to believe sometimes when all you get is non-affirmation.
But I guess tonight I realized I’m looking in the wrong place for it.
10:24 PM me: well, now i’m nurturing the talent in an academic setting
expanding horizons, testing ability
friend: does that feel liberating and affirming?
10:25 PM me: it does. but that’s inherent of a university setting
friend: true true.
10:26 PM Anyway, I just wanted to share what’s hot off the press. And that I feel like I’m made for something different, but can’t actualize.
10:27 PM And yet, I’ve seen you consistently pursue, pursue, pursue!
me: keep creating
just know [company] isn’t permanent
friend: I’m proud of you for that (and slightly jealous that I didn’t join you in the journey)
10:28 PM Right. true.
me: you’ve had an impressive journey yourself
friend: oh geez, these last couple have been a bit rough.
10:29 PM but, are they spicy for all the dicy? yes. have they held lessons, yes.
expensive lessons. tonight feels like an expensive lesson. I feel like I’m finally squaring with something I didn’t know I was trying not to square with.
10:30 PM I feel like I’m finally back where I was when I first started writing and yet I’m like 20 yrs older.
10:31 PM me: that shouldn’t matter
you’ve hit a wall professionally, but you’ve got a second wind creatively
friend: true. I believe that in theory, but it feels behind to walk out.
10:32 PM I mean I feel behind in the walking out of the concept.
10:33 PM Thanks for the encouragement. i should prolly go to bed. it’s way past my bedtime.
me: chin up
friend: What time is it there? 10:30?
10:34 PM friend: yes’m
i’m glad you’re you
friend: I look forward to phoning, seriously.
me: take your time