Today is day one of a series of guest posts, which I’ll be posting over the next couple of weeks.
Patty Wiseman, an author of five books, lives in Texas. In her inspirational article about life and writing, she shares her insights about voice, new beginnings, and staying true to yourself.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
by Patty Wiseman
YOUR VOICE, YOUR VISION
Neil Gaiman, an English author, once said, “The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So, write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
It took me almost a lifetime to accept the fact that I was a totally unique individual and the thoughts, talents, and expressions I embrace are the gift I was given to use in this life.
My journey wasn’t easy. The obstacles were many, but I won’t focus on that. As each birthday rolled around, I began to sense a subtle change. Doubt turned to confidence, negativity turned to zeal. As life marched onward, each milestone gave me a chance to look back, to ask myself, “What next?” I went to school. I got married. I raised two children. I had a long career. But something inside of me whispered, “You’re not finished yet.”
As I continued life’s journey, I would glance over my shoulder, contemplate those milestones, and feel a little thrill. “It’s not over! There’s more!”
Yes, I was excited about retirement. The chapters of my life before I began to write were full, each chapter a story in itself. When I stopped looking back I could see the unwritten pages, stories yet to be told, and that’s when zeal filled my whole being. Now, I can write those stories I’ve had in my head for so long.
I want to write, draw, build, play and dance as only I can. The expected things in life no longer apply!! I can tell my stories in my voice and it’s a liberating thing.
RETIREMENT, A NEW BEGINNING
Retirement was a new beginning for me. A new adventure. Did I have a lot to learn? Oh my, yes. Instead of fearing the unknown in the publishing world, I embraced it. Have I learned it all yet? No. To me, the adventure is learning. I’m eager and open like a sponge. I listen and learn, then engage. But, sometimes, what I hear doesn’t always apply to me, doesn’t fit. And that’s okay, because it’s my voice and my vision. Not everyone is going to enjoy my books. Not everyone is going to agree with my style. And that’s okay, too. No one will see me sit in my office, pounding out words on the computer, and see the laughter, the sorrow, the excitement I feel as the story unfolds under my fingers. No one will know the happiness that envelops me at the completion of a project. The point is, all of this gives me joy. I love what I do.
When you love something, the only thing that matters is to feel that fulfillment as you work at your craft. It doesn’t have to be writing. Dance, build, paint, sculpt, craft. Whatever your gift, do it with gusto. Put your heart into it. Do it for you.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF
To me, the worst thing a writer can do is compare themselves to someone else. Bask in your uniqueness. Turn away from the naysayers. Negativity can stifle the creative spirit in a hurry. Run quickly toward your goal with open arms. Because in the end, you are not doing it for them. You are doing it for you. Learn all you can, apply what fits you, but don’t change your voice or your vision. Your instinct is what makes you who you are. A unique individual with a wonderful gift you must embrace.