Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
– Barbara Kingsolver
I love this quote. As writers, we all want to sell our work. We all want our words to be cast into the world to make a difference. But, do we write to sell? Do we write to what sells? Sometimes we do, but what is more important is the passion within ourselves that, for some reason, we need to get out and share with anyone who will listen–er, read.
I’ve attended many writer’s conferences and seen and heard many successful, well-sold authors, and most of the time their main message is this: Write what you want to read. I think this is so powerful. Fiction has its trends. By the time you finish your masterpiece, it may not be sellable. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have merit. Times change. Trends change. Write what you want to write. Your passion will lead you to success–whatever your definition of success entails.
This dovetails perfectly with a conversation we had this week in the Level 4+ Riding Course I am attending at the Parelli Ranch in Pagosa Springs, CO. As some of you know, Parelli Natural Horsemanship is a method, philosophy, and practice of partnering in harmony with horses by communicating in their language. Monday we talked about 7 Cardinal Rules for Life:
- Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your present.
- What other people think of you is none of your business.
- Time heals almost everything. Give it time.
- No one is in charge of your happiness. Except you.
- Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
- Stop thinking too much. It’s alright to not know all the answers, they will come to you when you least expect it.
- Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world.
I would add only two things: Be who you are. Love who you are.
See you next week!