Well, it was Munro’s the magic bookstore to the rescue again.
I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone into my favourite bookstore, Munro’s (in Victoria, British Columbia), and come across a book I had never heard of before but knew, without a doubt, it was exactly what I needed to read. I have learned to listen to my gut on this…if I am holding a book at Munro’s and pondering whether or not to read it, if my intuitive voice whispers, “Buy it!” I will do so.
Case in point was a few weeks ago when I came across a book entitled, “The Obstacle is the Way; The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph,” by Ryan Holiday.
Truth be told, I suspect this book was the Universe’s way of throwing me a life preserver when I didn’t even realize I was close to drowning. I knew I had been struggling with doubt — but I don’t think I fully grasped the dangerous waters I had entered by starting to entertain the possibility of giving up…throwing in the towel on my Big Writing Dreams.
Because let’s face it: from the outside looking in on my work life, after twenty-two years of steady writing, I don’t have a heck of a lot of external material (published books, produced plays and films, etc) to show for my extensive efforts.
Thankfully, “The Obstacle is the Way” reminded me of a very important fact: it doesn’t matter what Other People Think of my writing progress. All that matters is what I think of my writing progress. Because I am the one on the inside, looking out. I know what my vision is. I know what I am trying to achieve. And I can see — with increasing clarity — the bigger picture of my vision and how my many projects are all interconnected.
Reading “The Obstacle is the Way” book reminded me that I DO know what I am doing…and that I am in very good company of a long line of highly successful people who failed enough times to knock a cow over backwards in the pursuit of their seemingly impossible (to everyone else but them) goals.
However, even though I know what I am trying to achieve — and have (finally) developed the skills to do so — the how, when, and who all just seem to be one insurmountable obstacle after another. If one more door closes in my face (or worse but far more frequent: doesn’t even open after repeated knocking), I’m gonna scream.
Screaming is okay. Giving up, however, is not.
Because apparently, all this is perfectly normal…