I’ve written for so long, it’s almost become second nature to me. I love the art, the craft of writing. But the thought of writing always daunts me. The idea of having to work hours and hours crafting a piece, without any guarantee of getting a positive response.
Truth is, life is a bit similar.
You put all the effort in, you put time, energy and money. You invest yourself.
But at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee you will get the outcome you wanted.
I’ve always wanted to write loads of books, get invited to speak, and have a hugely successful blog. There is a child inside of me which only wanted to be the best. To be picked.
Growing up I was always the last at everything worth having.
And first with all the circumstances no one wanted.
First to be in a broken home. First to have a parent with a disability. First to get bullied and not be able to do anything to stop it.
First to lose a parent.
When all this happens at a young age it marks you. The scars cast a long shadow.
I have no doubt writing won’t ever satisfy. It won’t complete me. It won’t make my life fulfilled. Neither will success or achievement.
Being a successful writer and speaker would be awesome. But not because I’d somehow ‘be the best’. But because it would mean I’m getting the chance to have a positive impact on someone else’s life.
It’s such a privilege to hear something you’ve created has changed someone’s life for the better. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s disconcerting too. Because so much of the time I’ve felt like I’m screwing up .
I wrote a guest post for a blog on my experience of grief, the lessons I learned and the way it’s impacted me. To me this was simply telling my story and sharing it. I didn’t really consider whether it would impact anyone too much.
The response I got was amazing. People tweeting and commenting on how much the story moved them. How it was perfect timing for circumstances in their lives at the current time. How they could ‘feel my heartbeat’ in my writing.
It really took me aback. You’d think I’d be all blown away and satisfied, my ego boosted and feeling all proud of myself.
I couldn’t quite deal with it. It was genuinely disconcerting.
As I pondered this, I began to understand one simple truth.
Whatever success we have – we’re still going to be the same person at the end of the day. (you can tweet that here)
I could sell a million books and get one hundred thousand readers on my blog. But I’m still going to be me when I go to bed in the evening. I’m still going to have all the same insecurities, doubts and fears I had the day before.
It’s the same with life.
We could have all our dreams come true. Get the partner of our dreams, get the job we’ve always wanted, find our true calling.
But we’re still going to be the same person when that happens. You’ll still be you.
I still occasionally go to the unhealthy fantasy career. But you know what, I’m starting to visit this world less and less.
Why? Simply because the reality of my story, is much more interesting. Yes, it has it’s twists and turns, and unexpected disruptions. But strangely, it’s those moments which can result in the most significant change in our lives. Take us in a whole different direction.
Just like this piece of writing. It started out one way, and ended up going a way I never imagined.
Because writing is like life.
And life is like writing.
Do you agree life is like writing? Why/why not?
What have been the big defining moments in your life?
How have you dealt with success/failure?
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