This past week I started reading “Writing from the Heart” by Nancy Slonim Aronie for the third time.
This book is intended to encourage and inspire reluctant or disheartened writers to trust themselves, to take the risk of writing from the heart. But I think all of us can benefit from it.
I know the author's words ring true to my experience. My inner critic is always beating up on my inner child, discouraging the poor kid from trying new things, nit-picking every unintentional goof-up, bullying her until she’s ready to give up completely. First, it was the dream of going to med school:
“The competition to get in is fierce.”
“Maybe nursing would be a better choice.”
“They don’t take many women, you know.”
Even now, later in life, I have to turn a deaf ear to all those other voices, the self-appointed experts who claim to have my best interests at heart as they rattle off disparagement:
“Start writing at your age? Really??”
“But you’ve never written a thing in your life.”
“Why would anyone give up a career in medicine? Why now??”
It’s no wonder we get discouraged as children when our creativity, curiosity, and energy levels are at their highest. The problem is that these same voices stalk us into adulthood. They can stop us in our tracks.
Which is why we all need encouragement, not just to write, but to live from the heart. As I read this book again, it occurs to me that we can all benefit from Aronie’s words, especially when we start to think about beginning again, when we still cling to a dream we once abandoned because we were told it was unrealistic, or unproductive, or unattainable.
Maybe you’re thinking about going back to school, or taking up piano. Maybe you’d like to try sky diving or scuba diving. Perhaps you’re drawn to carpentry or improv theater, but something inside you is holding you back.
“It’ll take too long.”
“It costs too much money.”
“I’d just be wasting my time.”
It may just be time to raise your voice. Stand up to that inner critic. Stick up for the child who was bullied out of following his/her heart. Make sure the same thing isn’t happening to you now.
Have a great week!