Between revamping my website, moving my blog over to WordPress (pardon the scaffolding, folks, it’s a work in progress), being at the ready for the launch of LitReactor, where I’m now a columnist and instructor, and taking on some new writers, I needed a moment to really reflect on this month’s focus – Clarity.
Then yesterday the brilliant creator and visionary behind Apple and Pixar, Steve Jobs died. Of course I found out via Twitter and of course I had to open a few links that would deliver his words of wisdom and brilliance about the virtues of being a fearless creative pioneer. I’m glad I did, although I’m saddened it took his passing to lead me toward his direction.
In his Stanford Commencement Address, Jobs inspires the graduates (and the millions who view the You Tube video) to have faith in their actions, whether right or wrong, they lead you toward your future. And by actions, he means doing something you are passionate about, something you love – inspired action. You’ll have successes, you’ll have failures, and you’ll do things that seem benign – like taking a course in Calligraphy. All these things we do lead us to the next thing and the next until one day we see a trail of connected dots behind us, like bread crumbs. While it’s not clear to us at the time we’re leaving this trail, one day we’ll look back and say, “Oh yeah. I see, now.”
The key, writers, is to not simply trod mechanically from one thing to the next but to fully engage your passion for whatever it is – in this context, writing – into your daily life. Do what you love and have faith that it will be fruitful for you down the road, but be wise. Surround yourself with the right people who will cheer you on and help fortify your gift. Use the tools that are out there to help you better your craft, but most of all, listen to your gut – it will always direct you toward the right path in the end.
This all sounds terribly romantic, but it’s not, really; it’s good old common sense. When your head is clear about what you want, when your heart is set to follow that course, there’s no stopping you.