Friday, August 08, 2008

Sharp as a Serpent's Tongue - Harris

I've been trying to cheer myself up, to write a cheerful post. Sorry I can't do it.

It's been hours and my eyes are still smarting. This morning, someone I care about told me I'm wasting my time. That I'm not going to get a book contract. That I won't be successful in my grant proposal. And that being successful 'isn't in the cards', for me. This person was trying to be 'helpful' and prevent me from being disappointed from what they perceived was the inevitable -- failure.

Funny thing, I'm proud of my work. My portfolio is jammed full of published articles. I've written blogs, books and book chapers. I'm starting a new national project next week. And I'm meeting with my local editors about fall projects in the morning.

But, still, in the eyes of my friends and neighbours, I'm just playing. Living a delusion. And need to be set right. "It just aint gonna happen, lady. Can't you see that? Try something else before it's too late."

The thing is I can't see it. I think they are dead wrong. And what they call success, I call drudgery. What they call growing up, I call giving up. What they call delusion, I call dreams.

And most important, writing is what I'm called to do.

So, in the morning, I will be at my computer. Trusting God to give me the words, just as I trust him now to dry up these tears.

As I write, I will try to remember that words have the power to destroy. And the power to give life.

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify one another," Romans 14:19

Jane Harris Zsovan writes in both mainstream in Canadian publications about faith, business, arts, and contemporary Canada. She is the author of Stars Appearing: The Galts' Vision of Canada

She contributed "Jessie's Generation: Canada's Firebrands of Mercy and Justice" to Hot Apple Cider: Stories to Warm the Heart and Stir the Soul

She writes Vision of Canada Blog, on contemporary and historical Canada.


jcbeckles said...

I read your blog, and all I could thing was "Wow! Jane is where I wish I were at". Not so much the disparaging words, but what they represent. What is so exciting about working all day pursuing someone else's dream? That's what I've been doing for the past 17 years, and I'm sick of it. I'm only now starting to pursue the dream I had as a girl, and even though I'm just starting, it's soooo much fun. I'm sure you too have had a lot of fun along the way. When I got married, one of the wedding gifts was a journal each for my husband and I, with the instruction to keep track of all the things that the other has done for us to make us happy. When we get upset, we were to go back to that journal and remember the good times. I bet the same thing would work here.

Someone once told me, most people are happy to see you get by, just not get by them. I think that applies to pursuing our dreams as well. They let theirs die, that's fine, but no one should be allowed to kill yours too.

The way I see it, you're now part of the Classes, not the masses.

Joanna Mallory said...

Charmaine, what a wonderful idea that journal is! And I think keeping a file or journal or some form of remembrance of the encouragements in our writing journey is vital.

Jane, I've been reading Grace Fox's Moving from Fear to Freedom, and in chapter 6 she shares this quote: "Many people choose safe lives in which failure (and therefore, real success) is highly unlikely. They never take risks, and they never fail; but they also die without any real service. They may never make a mistake, but they'll also never make a difference." (Gary Thomas, "Finding Fortitide," in Discipleship Journal, Issue 130, 2002,36.)

"Success" for a Christian doesn't mean glitz and glamour, it means the Father's approving "Well done." Keep doing what He called you to do until He tells you to stop.

I'm sorry about what this person said to you, and my prayer is that God Himself will lovingly reassure you that you're on His path.

Linda Wegner said...

Jane: Those of us who are acquainted with your work know far more/better than those who chose to tear you down. Listen to our voices even as you absorb the healing voice of God's Spirit telling you to go on. JcBeckles is right (post above): because other people have allowed their dreams to die, don't give them the perverted joy of seeing you do the same. Carry on, my friend! We're rooting for you!

DJ said...

I am impressed at your determination to keep going; that is what makes all the difference. You are already published, why wouldn't you continue to be published? You just have to find the place that needs what you write. I found your post encouraging.

Jane Harris said...

Thanks for the comments. That said, my family has paid a high price, especially my children, for my dream. They also hate seeing hit my head against brick walls.

N. J. Lindquist said...

Jane, I just saw an interview with the fencer from Canada who had to get back into shape to compete in her birth country where she was very famous. Her husband said it had been hard on the whole family. And she said that her children were learning about courage and her daughter wants to be a fencer too.

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