The other night I was listening to an online video interview with author Natalie Goldberg. This phrase caught me, and I couldn’t help but pause. I love it when I hear something phrased slightly differently than how I’ve heard it before. “Dive in.” “Go for it.” “Dig in deep.” These are all things Goldberg might have said, but instead, she chose the fabulous combination of words go into it.
There’s something about those three words as they apply to the writing life. Of course, the first part of the quote is just as important. “You just follow what you love…” Ahhh, such sweet-sounding words!
It sounds so simple doesn’t it? But is it really?
I think the answer is this: “It can be simple, but not always.” Or, as a wise woman once told me regarding finding true love: “It’s all about timing.” So it is with the writing life, and finding that which we love, and having the chance to go into it. First, we have to find what we love, and that can be tricky enough. In order to do that, we must know ourselves — really know ourselves. Some people discover their true selves earlier than others.
And then we have the task of finding a way to go into it. Sometimes, obstacles block our path. Other times we’re not quite ready. Still other times, we don’t have all the tools we need to really go into it as we’d like.
But then we begin to study our craft, and position ourselves, and network, and one fine day, things begin to fall together and it seems like something of a miracle — and it is. But it’s also a matter of our time having finally arrived. All that work, each small step, has led to something, and that something is now in view.
I feel like that’s happening right now to my good friend Mary of Play Off the Page. After years of trying to find her true path, her longtime dream of becoming a playwright is closer than ever. She’s actually produced some scripts and involved friends who have traveled a distance to be part of her debut readings. This weekend, one of her works will be featured in a public event in northern North Dakota. After years of seeking, she’s finally ready to go into it! And I’m heading to the performance this weekend to celebrate with her in person. (Mary, I’ll grab the Dove chocolates on the way out the door, don’t worry!)
Likewise, my own true path is becoming clearer each passing day. Though I have to hold off a bit longer in sharing more, right now I’m really close to a jumping-off point and getting ready to fully go into it. It’s an exciting time full of expectant energy.
So hang on. If you’re someone who can’t quite get to where you need to be in order go in full blast, be patient with yourself. It will happen. Keep the faith, turn fully in the direction of your goal, and just continue believing in yourself and the writing you know you’re meant to do.
Q4U: Have you ever felt yourself “going into it” with a particular project; a project you feel you were born to assume?