“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.” ~ Liz Gilbert, Big Magic
Dear Small Writer,
I see you. I see you journaling and churning words into publishable pieces.
I see you slogging through the blogging, learning the techniques to land the large audience.
I witness you apprenticing for publications that pay in bylines below their big names.
You’ve gone to school, gathered degrees, filled your toolbox, and taken too many classes from the masses you call masters.
You’ve written your book, hired an editor, held focus groups, invested your soul, and revised yourself into numbness.
Now, you find yourself on the floor praying your small voice can mean something more.
I see you. Standing on the precipice, wondering if you’ll ever fly.
Maybe you should just jump. End it all—because if you can’t do this—the thing you determined and believe to be your divine destiny, what’s it all worth?
You thought you had a purpose: to be of benefit and make a difference by giving your words to the world.
Maybe it will never be enough.
Maybe this noisy world will never hear you.
Maybe the world wide web is weaving itself around you, burying you.
It’s possible you’re not as capable as you imagined.
So, you consider returning to the world, working for the man, going under your self-doubt, and living a life of loud desperation.
Joining the masses, for you dear writer, is death.
Let’s not forget your contribution conspires for the good of the collective.
How dare you measure your worth by if you land on Oprah’s booklist?
All the writers who stand beside her do the reality pinch because it’s so far beyond where they started.
They started where you are, but that’s not to say you’ll be there one day.
Probably, like most, you will not sit in sunny Maui with inside chairs outside under lush trees, a camera crew, and the queen herself.
Let it f*cking go!
Instead, tell me about your joys on your journey so far.
Reading in your writers’ group—and they cried.
Your previous pastor’s brother (who you’ve never met) confessed you helped him heal after losing his soulmate of 30 years. Gulp.
A check for $300 from Chicken Soup for the Soul (even though your professor told you it was the worst contract in the world and you should’ve never signed it).
Writing about being raped and keeping it quiet for a decade. One reader said she finally understood the denial and the desire not to tell.
How about the night your family gathered on your parents’ back porch to listen to your words and you heard laughter and saw tears, evoked by you?
What did you feel in those “small” triumphs? Did you want to quit?
You crave the world stamp you legit, but baby, don’t forget, you were born for this.
You are on your path.
You arrived on this earth to spread your soul on the page like one big messy map.
Remember when you were a kid and your dad taught you how to read a map?
It blew your mind that one inch equaled 500 miles. You started in New Mexico meant to go all the way to California.
Since then, my dear, you’ve travelled back and forth in a car across the country multiple times, so often solo.
Yet, you never once confused a rest stop for your destination.
You’re always surprised about the long drives, until you arrive and realize the pure pleasure of the trip.
Stay on the road. Keep driving yourself.
Oh, how wonderful it’ll be for your ego when you land that life-changing book contract!
Isn’t that silly since your soul’s been dancing since the day you said yes?
The day you vowed, God, whatever it takes. I want to be a writer, you became one.
Money and fame may follow. Or not.
I see you. Confusing worldly success with your purpose.
Stop pretending that’s your why.
You’ve come so far. Now, you must go back.
Go back to being small and willing.
Go back to the whispers of your soul and the dancing of your heart.
Writing is a craft and a profession, but for you, it’s the calling you’ve heard since 3rd grade.
To pretend you’d ever put down your purple pen is deceit.
When the world is full of fools aching for accolades, let the angels kiss your tears away. Let your guides whisper, Let’s go.
Today, Valentine’s Day, love your small writer self so you can grow, not loud and large, but full, fulfilled, and true. Be true.