This blog post serves as the tenth in a ten-part series based on the wholehearted living guideposts found in Brené Brown’s fabulous book, Daring Greatly! Her book is more general in its aim to help people live a more authentic, “wholehearted” life but I will be taking her principles and applying them to writing. The great news is they make the transition very easily.
If you missed the earlier lessons, feel free to check out the Wholehearted Writing category and you’ll find all the posts there.
So here we are at our last installment of the guideposts to wholehearted writing with Lesson Ten - LETTING GO OF BEING COOL AND “ALWAYS IN CONTROL”
Now this is really self-explanatory in a lot of ways. Sometimes our desire to not appear foolish stifles our ability to experience life. I would like to think for the most part writers and other creative types don’t fall victim to this as much as other people because without putting ourselves out there we fail to really create anything.
I see this with moms in different parenting situations. Maybe at the school fundraiser where delicacies are being sold for the raising of very important school funds. And it’s obvious all the other moms decided to get together and color-coordinate their outfits but didn’t call me. Kids are acting silly, running around and playing. And their mothers’ eyes bulge from their sockets in silent restraint, all while sending telepathic messages to their children to please behave and chill out.
And I’m all over in the corner like this:
Are you feeling me? We have to get outside of ourselves and our comfort zones in order to live a little. A few months back my kids who are in the 5th and 2nd grade had a sock hop at their school. Why this sock hop consisted of mainly songs like “Thrift Shop” and the “Cha Cha Slide” I still haven’t figured out, but it was really fun nonetheless. Now most responsible parents were seated alongside the gym wall in tiny plastic chairs, enjoying nachos and soda. Where was I? I was busy getting down with my kids right in the middle of the dance floor. At that moment, I didn’t care if I embarrassed myself or my kids. I’ve never been able to avoid a good beat and this was no exception. In my mind, I’m pretty sure it looked like this:
But it may have been more like this in reality:
Either why, pretty awesome, right?
I decided to go a little .gif happy with this post to hopefully bring some happiness to your day and to remind you that it’s okay to not always be in control, even when you’re wearing your grown-up pants. For writers, experiencing some of life’s biggest oops really influences our work the most. In high school, I had a terrible habit of only participating in activities I was sure to excel at. It worked out great because I was pretty good at a lot of stuff but it left me with some regrets, too. I’ve tried to rectify that since then and I think the absolute biggest way I’ve opted to let go of being cool and always in control is by WRITING A BOOK. Boy, did I really overdo it with that one. Can’t possibly be less in control when you decide to write a novel and then hand it over to the Universe to do with it what it wants.
And I’m so glad I have. I’ve challenged myself and I’ve tried a new thing and although it’s not easy in the least or a sure bet, it has been so rewarding. So if you take nothing else away from this blog series over the past ten weeks, remember this: In order to live wholeheartedly, to write wholeheartedly, you have to put your WHOLE heart out there. Although terrifying at times, it is 100% worth it.
Thanks to you all for stopping by!