Anyone who knows me knows that I love an adventure. Being asked to speak aboard a ship was definitely on my bucket list, so I jumped at the chance when I was asked to be an onboard lecturer. I prepared five talks that I thought were rather compelling: Peek Behind the Covers, a Look at Publishing, The Caribbean Influence on Popular Literature and Movies, The Five People You Should Meet in the Caribbean, How to Travel like an Author and Everyone has a Story: What’s Yours?.
Since I had sailed on this ship as a passenger, I knew the people coming to listen to me were well traveled, curious, intelligent and fun. On my speaking days, they gathered to hear me in the big theatre to watch my PowerPoint presentations and see me slide hither and yon on the dance floor when the sea got rough. At the end of each of my presentations, I asked if there were questions. There weren’t – at least not questions for public consumption. Instead, many in the audience came to speak to me privately. They wanted to talk about their own writing ambitions. There was a surgeon who wanted to write a children’s book, a woman in her nineties whose own children were asking that she write a memoir. There was a man who had written a business book a decade ago but he had always wanted to write a novel. And there was a composer who, as he listened to me, thought to combine lyrics and a story to create a unique novel.
After listening to every person who spoke to me after my lecture, or caught me on deck, or sat with me in the dining room it finally dawned on me what they were after. They wanted my permission to follow their dreams.
[tweetshare tweet=”@Rebecca_Forster: You have my permission . . .follow your dreams.” username=”A_SliceofOrange”]
Strangely, when it comes to fiction or memoir, many of us believe that our words are not as valuable as the next persons. We convince ourselves that writing with honesty and passion will somehow diminish us in the eyes of the world – or at least those we care about. We offer our writing up with caveats like ‘it is silly’, ‘you probably won’t like it’, and ‘promise not to laugh’.
I heard these things in the voices of the people on that ship, but when we were done talking I heard something else. I heard confidence. I heard the excitement. I heard their brains turning as they planned their books. By taking that first step – admitting they harbored dreams of authorship to someone who was already there – they had given themselves permission to write. When we all parted, I knew exactly where they were going. They were going home to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboards. They had taken more than a cruise, they had taken a journey and I have no doubt that by the end of that journey they will have written their book.
Give yourself permission to do whatever it is you dream of doing. If your dream is to write a book, do it with honesty and passion – and don’t forget to share it with the rest of us.
I love paths. We have one that goes to the field for our tractor, but the best ones are those I’ve made to my writing/meditation cabin, and the one I use to walk to the field. These two I’ve lined with rocks and as I stroll by I’m always amazed by the large roots that grow above ground. Different and yet so eye catching. It took a long while to clear the brush away, find and place the stones alongside, and then try to keep them clear enough to follow over the years.
Special attention paid to the little things on my land makes a huge difference to me. These are the points of life that mark my growth as I go forward. Time spent in nature with love and opportunity all encompassed into this one small three-acre-place that I call home.
God has given us a world full of hope for everything and everyone. We are all unfinished people, moving forward at the rate of speed we are meant to travel. And as we wander on our different paths, finding and following our own heart’s desires, let us take time to be thankful for what we have right now. It can all change in a moment, and then this opportunity will be behind us….
Sally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.
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