(A shout out to all the ICF Minnesota coaches-hope to see you tonight at the Metropolitan Ballroom for “Leadership Using Active Listening”).
I was sharing with my writing teacher all the things I had done to improve a piece of writing, including classes and using beta readers for feedback. My teacher looked at me and said, “You’ve really put yourself through a lot. I think you should close your suggestion box.”
While I’m not entirely sure my suggestion box should be closed, it did make me laugh.
My writing teacher is a published young adult author of fiction. She says she doesn’t care very much for the business part of writing books, nor for the financial part, nor for any of the things authors are supposed to care about. She says she writes young adult fiction for herself, to please herself, and she doesn’t worry a lot about what other people think. She’s says she’s been lucky-that someone recommended her to an agent because she thought they’d ‘get along’. They did get along and have been a team ever since.
There’s a carefree attitude to my writing teacher. She obviously cares about her work, and being true to her vision. She believes teenagers are interesting creatures, that life is messy, and that few real life endings are neat and tidy. That’s reflected in her work, which doesn’t shy away from hard subjects.
And somehow her work, and her attitude have made her successful.
I’ve seen this in every area of life. Sometimes the people who are not attached to the results are the very people who achieve the best results.
In what way could you be true to your vision/philosophy and yet let go of the results?
May we pursue our paths, closing our suggestion box when necessary and focusing on our own vision for our work,