I sing ALL the time. In the car, in the shower, in the bedroom while I’m ironing. My poor musically inclined boyfriend is very nice about it — maybe because I’m ironing his shirts — but the truth is, I’m not very good. I can hear the pitches and modulations in a melody, but I can’t always make them with my own voice. Still, I have fun, and that’s good enough for me.
I love to dance. I went from ballet as a girl, to drill team in high school, to contemporary in college. I would say that I am an above average dancer, but not a great one. Still, I always made it into the “upper echelon” of my dance groups because I worked really, really hard. I knew I wasn’t the best, so I tried to make up for my deficit in talent with an abundance of passion and effort.
I am a writer. Some level of innate talent was identified at a young age, and I’ve spent almost two decades trying to nurture that. At first, my goal was literary acclaim. Glowing reviews, tons of awards, the Pulitzer, maybe even a Nobel. Then I just wanted to be a bestseller. (“Just.” Ha.) Pleasing readers is more important than pleasing other writers, I told myself. Now… Now I just want to write as well as I can. No matter who’s reading or reviewing. No matter who isn’t.
Some people might view the change in my goals as a lowering of standards. For me, it’s about understanding and accepting my limits. I mean that in 2 ways. First: Neither literary acclaim nor blockbuster sales are within my control. That’s just the reality. And that’s okay. Second, and this may also be a reality: I might not be cut out to be a professional writer. After a lot of internal struggle, I realized that’s okay too.
5. The Point [Read more…]