Monday, January 20, 2014

On synchronicity and boldness

I love the way synchronicity works.

This morning, I had the privilege of spending a wee while with Marianne Elliott as she finished up the Melbourne segment of her Off the Mat, Into the World program. We hadn't connected in person since I attended her book party in New York City in July last year, but I kinda felt like I've been travelling with her since via her blog and twitter and instagram feeds.

I know from experience that "feeling like you know someone" from their internet and social media presence can be a fraught enterprise, particularly if your profiles/spheres of influence are not equally matched. I must also confess that I am prone to a bit of hero worship and can get confused about what might constitute a friendship in these situations.

But there's something about Marianne. She's smart and worldly but she's also warm and down-to-earth. The conversation flowed easily and I felt that her interest in my plans for the year was as genuine as my interest in hers. (She was also very tolerant of the frequent interruptions from my almost-five year old daughter!)

I didn't know in advance that I'd be responding to the "Boldly Go" prompt from Reverb13 today, but as I sat down in front of my computer this evening, I couldn't help but recall one of this morning's conversations with Marianne. I'd been telling her about my hope that I could develop my website offerings and freelance writing such that I'd be able to leave my day job after my maternity leave was up.

I found myself confiding that my identity as a writer still feels like it is fledgling. I've made a lot of progress but there's a lot more exploring to do before I can be confident that I have a clear offering. I also confessed how easy I found it to be discouraged that so many others appear to have coherent and consistent messages, and that they have already done what I am trying to do (and so much better).

Marianne listened thoughtfully and shared that this had also been her experience, as well as that of several highly successful writers she knew and worked with. She reminded me that this is a quintessentially human feeling and one that is shared by practically everyone who puts themselves out there.

It was so heartening to hear this.

And it seems to me that my task, in all facets of my life this year, is to just do it anyway... despite the voices that tell me that I'm a lazy and awkward parent, a self-centered friend, a writer of limited imagination and mediocre talent, an enthusiast who should appreciate visual art but never attempt to make it, a try-hard in an already saturated blogosphere.

I also can't help but think of all the writers (Marianne included) whose words have touched me profoundly and not only inspired me but have actually shifted some of my most deeply-seated perceptions of my self and the world. I want to say to these women: Please don't ever stop! Your work really does mean something! It's important and so very appreciated and no one else can do it like you.

Or as Goethe once wrote: Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.

This year, I plan to begin... by listening to the words I would gladly give to a sister who doubts herself.

 I am responding here to the eleventh prompt from #reverb13. You are warmly invited to share your own response below, if you did not have the opportunity to do so in December. Thank you for sharing the journey with me. x


  1. For what it's worth Kat, I've felt exactly the same way too, and still do a little. It has taken nearly nine years of blogging, two as a journalist and a novel written and then completely rewritten for me to finally feel confident that I have a clear offering, as you so well put it. And even then the confidence comes and goes. I am just determined to override the less confident moments this year, whatever it takes. Don't ever give up. It might take longer than you think it will and it might not look like you thought it would once you get there....but don't give up xxxx

  2. I have always felt this way, Kat. Inadequate, lacking, mediocre. Then I realised that the only person I ultimately have to please with my creativity is me. And so, I'm bold. x