This morning I saw the hashtag #selfiesunday and decided to pass, because my Instagram has enough photos of my face. In various, sometimes unflattering forms, but it’s my face, and I suck at taking selfies, so I figure they’re all pretty honest photos. And that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately: Honesty.
Last week, we had Korean food for dinner and while I was sick, I still snagged myself a fortune cookie because I think they’re hilarious, if only because someone on my mom’s side of the family insists you need to add the words “in bed” to any fortune you get. … Anyways, my fortune went like this:
Your insight this week will lead you to the correct decision. Trust.
A little cryptic, right? And I was having one of those self-doubting weeks where I was wondering what the hell I was doing with my life (namely, the writing portion of it), so while a fortune like this normally would’ve made me laugh, it didn’t. Instead, it stressed me out until I reached a So… What Now God? boiling point, erupted, and then looked around at the aftermath of my mini Mount Vesuvius. Here’s what I found:
I haven’t been writing from the heart. The projects I’ve been trying to force- there’s no truth in them. Those of you who’ve read my books are probably scratching your heads wondering where the heart and truth was in those books. I mean, really- serial killer mystery trilogy and a five-part urban fantasy series? “Come on Britt, you can’t be serious. Where’s the truth in that?”
Oh, but it’s there. Maybe it was wrapped in leather and hung out with Greek gods at a bar built inside a church, but my heart was there, as was the truth I was trying to tell. But somewhere between finishing up Howl and now, I lost sight of that. I started to stress about the mere act of writing- keeping up my publishing momentum, actually blogging on a fairly consistent basis- that I lost sight of why I started writing in the first place. Then I saw this:
Over the last few days this diagram has been shared and seen by thousands. We're pumped that it resonated so well with people. The emails, messages and comments have been a reminder for why we're building Hustle & Grind! Thank you to the #HustleTeam for the love! Keep chasing that purpose and keep chasing your dreams! We'll be releasing this art very soon as a print and poster to grace the wall wherever you grind – Keep your eyes open – We're almost ready for launch!
After copying the chart into my own notebook, I began to fill in the blanks. What did I love? What did the world need? What was I great at? Slowly, but surely, the blanks were filled in:
I want to tell a story, and I want it to be real.
So I deleted all my forced, works-in-progress and cleared off my cork board that was littered with blogging topics I’d copied from the internet, having every intention of writing them all, but eventually accepting that would never happen. Because it wouldn’t be real. It wouldn’t be honest, from the heart, and genuine. Which means it wouldn’t be me, and if I’m going to take the time to put myself out there through my writing, why wouldn’t I give you the real me?
So instead of a weekly #selfiesunday, I’m going to make it #selfsunday; a day in which I tell you what I’m really thinking, be it my latest musical obsession or how infuriating writing a novel can be.
Speaking of novels… I found my next story. :) And it’s true. True and from the heart and oh, how it’s flowing. This is that feeling I lost so many months ago, the feeling I could never understand, but never questioned, because it allowed me to write the way I did. Well, I know what that feeling is, now. I know what allowed me to write the stories I did.
Me. My heart. And my undying gratitude to a God who decided I should be a storyteller and gave me the ability to do so. That’s what I’ve been missing; that honest gratitude and a heart for weaving tall tales.
So… onto the next tale.