Living each day much muchier
My Kickstarter reward arrived in the post yesterday. Sitting neatly on the steps leading up to my apartment, was a parcel (thanks to whoever accepted it from the postie) containing a book, T-shirt and the invisible but tangible thrill of helping someone realise their desire. Lisa Shearon, aka The Notorious MUM, wrote a novel and through the power of crowdsourcing, sent out a real, proper, published book with that new page smell. I helped someone achieve victory and that feels amazing.
I love her message in the opening pages. I love that the book wasn’t written for the world. It was written with love for the people in her world.
I’m pretty sure the reason why I’ve blogged (semi) consistently for a decade now is because I never aimed to be a ‘blogger’. I don’t write for clicks and shares and advertising. I may not be an ‘influencer’ but I feel privileged when friends say my courage inspires them to make braver choices. I don’t write for the world, but for me and the people in my world.
I’m pretty sure a key reason I finished writing a novel last Christmas is because I aimed to just pop it up on kindle for a couple of dollars. The labour was for the challenge and delight, not potential or label. Ever since I paid for a professional manuscript assessment and promised to submit it formally, I’ve been creatively paralysed and I’ve hardly touched the work of the exciting next version I already know it can be.
In aiming big, we forget the influence we have over the immediate. In a 24/7, online, internationally-integrated world already drowning in voices and ambition, maybe aiming small is not a productivity sin after all. Maybe, it’s just sharing with those who mean the most.
“Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.”
Hosea Ballou, 1771
Laura,I know you’ve had a setback with you novel, but knowing you as I do you will bounce back. We all have moments of doubt but resilience and persistence are two of your strengths and those traits will get you through this period of paralysis. I think the following article may be a timely one for you.
“I thought for a while my sudden longing for smaller forms was a lack of ambition, before realizing that it is my ambition.”
Oooh, I love it.
“The ambition to write smaller is anti-capitalist and therefore impossible to reconcile with the rules of the marketplace, where, like a hopeful idiot, I continue to bring my small and constrained work to be validated. I also continue to feel the frisson of shameful desire to be glorified, nonetheless, as the marketplace’s great big grand next thing. Yet there’s an icy solace in not being glorified, and a useful freedom, too.”
Glad you liked it. I’m happy to be considered a “hopeful idiot” and embrace “useful freedom”. It reminds me of one of my favourite lyrics from the singer Guy Clark:
There ain’t no money in poetry
That’s what sets the poet free.
I’ve had all the freedom I can stand…