I am a great writer. I KNOW that. I know that I can tell a story, write a poem or a song, get a message across, create, convince, coerce… I can work magic with my pen. It doesn’t matter the subject matter or the forum, I can convey it and I can do it well. Put pen to paper and I have power – my mind is clear, my thinking is divine, I am confident, self assured, and I almost never second guess myself. When I write I am in my zone. I am who I am in my purest form. I am doing my thing and I am BAD.
So I have always known that I have this extraordinary talent as a writer and I was always aware that this gift would be the key to unlocking my destiny and releasing my abundance. Problem is, I didn’t know what path to take. There was so much ahead of me and so much that I could do, that I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to find my niche in this really huge marketplace with this really big talent. I knew whatever God had for me to do it would come through my writing, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what that was.
So I decided to get honest. (Whenever I start to introspect I can hear Ms Iyanla’s voice in my head saying “tell the truth!” and so I usually start with one basic truth.) And the truth is, all I ever wanted to do was tell stories. I wrote my first mini book at around age 12 and I had been writing mini books, short stories and poetry all throughout my teenage years up until around age 24.
Then life happened.
I was now on my own with a baby to raise and bills to pay and so I told myself that I didn’t have time to play the role of the starving author writing make believe. There simply was no time to sit around writing books I probably would never get a book deal for or that people may never read. Life got real and there was just no time to waste on dreaming.
The discontent of jumping from job to job lead me to enroll in college both to increase my value and my earning potential. I started to become an English teacher but after realizing that I did not receive that anointing 🙂 , I chose Journalism. It was a safe combination of talent and paycheck. I write well, I care about social issues, I LOVE to learn and research – so it seemed like the perfect fit. Eventually, I got a job at a newspaper and was doing pretty well there but after a few months, the familiar discontentment I felt in all my previous jobs returned. I started looking around, thinking, ‘is this it?’ Do I really care to write about how many people got shot this week or chase the latest crash? Could I really do this for the rest of my life? The answer was a loud, emphatic “NO.”
For about a year I had been doing an internship as a public relations writer for a charter school organization. PR is somewhat similar to journalism and so for a while it seemed to be a fit. I was writing about education (which is another passion of mine) so initially, I was extremely excited about it. But a year in and the discontentment started to creep in again.
The time to finish my bachelors came and I was now looking toward grad school. With my journalism degree almost behind me, I started to think long and hard about what I would study for my masters degree. I had managed to convince myself that I would study political science so I could write about political issues and use my journalism work to “change the world.” And I was set on that idea until my best friend challenged it. (Your best friend ain’t your best friend if they don’t get all up in your business 🙂 )
Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I had to face the truth. There was a post on a social media site that asked “what would you do if you couldn’t fail and money was not an issue?” And my truth was I would be an author. But I wouldn’t stop there, I would write movies, plays, scripts anything to entertain, empower and educate. That was a tagline I came up with at 19 years old (which oddly enough TD Jakes also uses) but I had vowed that I would commit my life’s work to entertainment, empowerment and education all through story telling.
So I decided to go back to my core, start from the beginning and do the thing that had been in my heart all along- the thing I dreamed of doing before dreams became childish. I would find the stories hidden within me and I would write them.
I still believe there is a place for me in journalism – just not in the traditional sense. I am sure there is a way for me to tie it all together. Time will reveal. The bible tells us that our gifts will make room for us and so there has to be room for me. Somewhere.
I am applying to grad school for a MFA in Creative Writing next Spring. Someone told me not so long ago, “that’s a hard business to break into.” That may be so. But I never ask for easy, I only ask for possible.
And, fact is the discontentment never leaves us until we do what’s in our hearts – just to make sure we do what we were sent here to do.
Over the last two years I’ve thrown caution to the wind, stepped out on faith and have done things I could have never imagined.
So what’s one more risk?
Even if I fail – it’s working for my good.
One thought on ““What Would You Do If You Couldn’t Fail?””
Great post! I believe writers write because they can’t help it. We tell stories to make sense of the real and unreal in our world; both physical and metaphysical. I finished my novel because at one point I had no choice and also, I didn’t want to be lying on my death bed saying, “I wish I had finshed my novel.” Good for you! Take the risk.