For my 30th birthday I made a resolution to start taking concrete steps towards my lifelong goal of being a writer. Besides all the research, outreach, planning and making connections that it entails, it also means sitting down, collecting my thoughts, and actually producing writing.
It feels incredibly self-indulgent, especially because I am also in graduate school and work full time, to write without a specific deadline or with an end result in mind. It seems like a real luxury to dwell in and focus on my own creativity. It’s scary to respect my ideas and creative impulses and take them seriously enough to give them time in my life. It’s ironic, because in my professional life I often act as a cheerleader or coach for artists, encouraging them to take their artistic ideas and careers seriously enough to push them to the next level. I also edit their grant proposals and project narratives and spend much time giving them feedback on their writing.
I’m at the beginning of a new decade and have a clear goal for the end, which is to be a writer in no uncertain terms. Deep down I know that only goal that has ever mattered to me and is the one that I will think about when I assess my life to see if I achieved what I hoped to. I’ve spent the past decade of my life ensuring my career as an arts administrator and I feel proud of that. However, as I spend my work days encouraging artists to trust in their visions it’s difficult to turn around and afford myself the same trust. I think these artists have given themselves the self confidence, and the permission, to trust in what they make and take it seriously. It’s hard to give myself the same permission. It’s much simpler to dwell on my own frustrations or feel like my goals are out of reach.
However, my goals will always be out of reach if I don’t start writing. If I don’t take the first steps to get organized, take a deep breath and push myself into the unknown, how will I even know what I want is possible?