I recently listened to a podcast called, Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert. It is a supplement to her book written last year called Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. In the episode I listened to, she talks about your creative journey as an airport runway. You do a few things to get started on your runway, and then you begin to accelerate as you do more projects and gain more confidence, until finally you need to lift off, otherwise you are going to crash into the houses at the other side of the runway.
I think most people have a dream to do something and for many of us it is a creative pursuit, whether it be art, writing, gardening or cooking. However, a lot of times we are scared to seriously pursue it. This is our heart we are putting out there for others to judge. This is the thing that we have dreamt about and what if we fail, then our dreams will be all for nothing, and we will have nothing left to dream about.
For a very long time, I wanted to be a writer. I fell in love with books and reading at a very young age. Then once I learned to write words, I discovered that I could make up my own stories and books. My mom saved some of these little books and I have read them. They are so dear and very funny. When I was in third grade and was selected to go to a Young Author’s Conference, I decided on my career as an “author,” as I called it then. But somewhere along the way, I set that aspiration aside and did other things. However, I was not really surprised when it resurrected itself a couple of years ago. All along it was living in my heart, but I was not listening.
This blog has been part of my runway to my work as a writer. It was scary to leave the airport gate, so to speak, and write something and let others read it. I did a lot of preparation and packing for my trip. I talked to others about how I wanted to write, I dabbled a little, I took a workshop here and there but never really produced anything. Lately, I feel that I have been picking up some speed and acceleration. There are some exciting things coming up with the blog in the next couple of months. A friend and fellow writer mentioned to me about jointly working on a project on a topic that is becoming very near and dear to both of us, and a book keeps whispering in my ear.
Elizabeth Gilbert points out in the podcast that the stuck and antsy feeling you often start to feel in your creative journey, means that it is time – time to takeoff. I am getting close because I am certainly feeling all of those feelings. It is not quite time yet, and for now I am enjoying some more time on the runway. But I am looking for signs of good flying weather ahead in preparation for my takeoff. This summer I have tried to scale back on some commitments because I am craving quiet and solitude with time to think and to write. I have been doing lots of yoga, journaling and writing. I think it is all in preparation for something that is to come.
I hope if you have a dream in your heart, you are working on it and enjoying some time with it. It is fun and it fills your soul. And if you are still thinking about it, step out there and try it. The good news with the runway is that you can go slow (I know when I’ve been on a plane it can take awhile to get from the gate into the air), and your feet at first don’t have to leave the ground. Don’t forget to look for others that can help you navigate the path you are setting out on. Finally, when you are ready, take a deep breath, and take a leap of faith in yourself and put your landing gear up. –June
“You have extraordinary treasures hidden within you. Bringing forth those treasures takes work and and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion. We simply do not have time anymore to think so small.” Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear