With Christmas fast approaching, it seems like a good time to look back at the year as it wraps up. It’s no coincidence that I would think of gifts at this time; not because there are some under the tree, but because the year has been full of them. I used to be foolish enough to believe that tripe about giving being better than receiving, until one of my heroes pointed out what lopsided thinking that was. Harv Eker taught me that the math doesn’t work that way, since the giving and the receiving need to be equal if both are to exist. People that don’t know how to receive are as incomplete as people that don’t know how to give, and all of the gifts life tries to give them are received begrudgingly or not at all.
I know this because I work this issue, among many others. It was very hard for me to come to terms with what my soul wanted to do, and even harder to get started doing it. Some gifts require serious hard work if we are going to receive them, and avoiding the work is a great way to avoid receiving the gift. As a student of life and happiness, I knew pretty early on that I had a destiny to fulfill. I also knew that just because my destiny existed didn’t mean that I would fulfill it; both finding and fulfilling it were up to me, and would require of lot of giving and receiving.
Now that those wondering years are behind me, and the frozen in place years along with them, I am finally sharing my gift. It’s no surprise that giving and receiving kind of become the same when we are pursuing our destiny, as digging deeper bears greater gifts. There is no way to describe to my former self how it feels to be on the other side of all that, but that doesn’t mean I won’t give it a try.
Writing has always been the gift that keeps on giving, for me. It began as a daily exercise, in an attempt to order my thoughts and make sense of my life. I couldn’t believe how much it helped, and how much I looked forward to reading back then what I would be writing now. It’s pretty safe to say that Yesterday Jay would probably not be too impressed if I time travelled to tell him that I had just spent a year writing books about zombies. Even if I had explained, he would have probably been pretty dismissive of my subject matter. The only way I could convince him what great books they are would be to bring them back with me, and have him read them. That would most assuredly cause him to stop writing right there, especially if I told him again that all these books only took a year for me to write.
Is that arrogant, to know my past self well enough to know that seeing this year’s work load would have sent him into nonproductive hiding for even longer? I don’t think so, since the only person I am claiming to be better than is my own past self. The journal entries that I labored over back in those days were difficult things for me to pull together, and the thought of writing even one book was way too much. But that’s not what I was thinking about, back then; I only considered writing a book when friends suggested it, and dismissed the thought quickly each time. There was too much for me to learn, too many secrets hidden in books and my own layers of thinking to do anything but read a lot and journal a little. I had a foundation to lay, and a life to live, and I had only just discovered that I had some kind of talent in turning my thoughts into printed words. I thought it would help, as I journaled my way through life and used those words to communicate.
I’ve talked about the day writing stopped being a chore and started being a joy in this series before. What I haven’t touched on is how that joy keeps growing. Every book I write is harder than all the others in some new way, and easier than all the others in so many other ways. It’s become a running joke between my partner and I, that if I say I’ll never write something that means it’s bound to happen eventually. The only thing I like better than the feeling that writing is becoming a part of me more than ever is the fact that a new challenge always awaits. It’s why I can’t promise I’ll never publish in any given genre; I understand why someone would only want to hang drywall, or plumb new builds, or stick only to electrical work. I just am not that kind of person; by extension, I am not that kind of writer. Something shiny might catch my eye while I’m working on the story I had planned, and draw me in a whole new direction of learning and exploration.
Of course I’m going to write about it.
It isn’t everyone’s thing, and it shouldn’t be; but if writing is your thing then you know that it’s a special gift indeed. Sitting down and writing requires a give and take that only writers can really understand; taking the next step and becoming an author means taking a bunch of those skills to the next level, and learning new ones as well. Those skills produce books; those books become something you can give, and feel as though you are receiving at the same time. There’s no getting around it, really: writing is a special gift, to both the writer and the reader, and there’s no better time to give it than the present.
Thanks for reading!
All the best,