When I was younger and right up until last year actually, I believed that because I wasn't the kind of writer I wanted to be in that moment, I never would be. I thought if I wasn't born Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Gilbert, Zadie Smith or Nicole Kraus then what's the point? I couldn't be a writer because I clearly didn't have the natural born talent of the writers I admire most. I created this road block in my mind and no matter how many detours I took, I couldn't get past it. The road block inevitably stopped me. My grammar is C + at best and my spelling isn't great without spell check so, as a result my sentences are clunky. I let this hinder me and told my dream of being a writer to go wither and die somewhere because it wasn't going to happen for me.
Last year, I just said screw it! I'm going to do it anyway. I don't have perfect grammar, syntax or spelling and I am going to embrace it and carrying on despite those things. I felt expanded through watching my advisor Lacy embrace her own insecurities around grammar and started this blog. I just started and I kept going despite my inner critic telling me it was useless and no one would want to read anything I want to say. I accepted that could be totally true but, I wanted to write anyway.
It's been going this way for the last year; me writing even though I don't feel worthy of doing the writing and not making any real progress on feeling confident in my abilities. Until a week ago on a run. On my run, I started to think about writing and thought about how two days before I was editing an article I had written and caught an edit I had always missed previously. In the moment, I let it go and felt satisfied the piece sounded better. During my run, the moment suddenly became more significant. It showed me that I was getting better! I was learning and my writing, grammar, syntax were actually improving! Holy crap. It seems obvious but, this was a lightening bolt of clarity for me; I didn't have to be perfect at writing at the beginning, I would grow, learn and evolve over time and one day, become a good writer! Jack pot!
As I ran further, the clarity kept unfolding that if I wanted to write, I had to keep writing. I had to keep plugging away at thing and the very doing of it, would help me improve. The start would be rocky and I'll write a bunch of pieces I won't like BUT, I have to hold space for the beginning period. The space between where I am and where I want to be is significant and being there, showing up and trying is what allows the transformation to unfold. And do you know what else? All the experts, artists and creatives we admire have to do this too! Sure, some lucky few are born with innate talents that don't need a lot of refining but, they still have to show up and do the hard work every day! The freedom from this pressure I had on myself was exhilarating. I might never be Ernest Hemmingway but, I will write like me! And that is still important.
If you, like me, had a dream and threw it away because you didn't start out perfect at it then I beg you to give your dream (and you) space. Allow yourself the beauty of showing up and writing clunky sentences or painting weird paintings or singing off key to practice and practice and practice. The practicing will naturally help you grow into your talent. I firmly believe our dreams are given to us by the Universe because we have something special to bring through them to the world. They simply need the space to be born and to grow and to become. Just like us.