I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was eight and have never wavered long from that dream. When my older daughter, then nine, discovered her own passion, I did what my parents did before me. I took her seriously and encouraged her to nurture and develop her natural talents.
|My daughter at the barre. Photo by Deborah Downes|
1) If you don’t actively chase a dream, it will forever remain a dream. It takes work to succeed. Learn to love work. Barre exercises are to a dancer what parking one’s rear end in a chair is to a writer. Both require focus and discipline. In this short video you will see a small group of dancers doing the same combination at the barre. Even an untrained eye can determine who wants to be there and who simply goes through the motions. (My daughter is directly in front of the camera – middle child along the barre at the back of the room–I wish I had her focus.)
2) Don’t be afraid of correction or feedback. It’s the only way to improve.
3) Find a teacher who will be honest about your weaknesses and guide you to overcome them, or at least not call attention to them.
4) You can’t join a company before learning how to dance en pointe. You can’t publish a novel if you never finish it.
5) If you dance, you are a dancer. If you write, you are a writer. It really is that simple.
6) If you don’t love it, do something else. If you do love it, don’t be satisfied doing anything else.
7) Dance (or write) because you can’t help yourself. Remember why you love what you do and don’t forget to have fun, as my children are in this video. (My kids are the shorter one in black and the little one in the blue and white dress .)
Do you struggle to live by any of these rules? We’d love to hear about it, especially if you have found a way to overcome them.