I was listening to myself on the radio yesterday, replaying The Power of YOU interview(you know what? I say "it's interesting" a lot!) You can click the link in my right sidebar to listen for yourself.
I noticed that Kimberly asked me a question that I didn't really answer. I'm not sure if I wasn't able to or didn't quite understand what she was reaching for but now I think I have it.
The question she asked was "When did you know it(my writing) was a gift?"
I've been pondering it overnight and I think I can finally answer it.
I think the question of talent, whether you are good at something, often comes from outside appreciation. You sell your books, people comment on your blog that they like your photo, your poetry or your advice. People tell you that you are talented when they compliment your work.
Since, however, I sort of subscribe to the notion "What you think of me is none of my business" AND its close cousin "Be independent of the good opinions of others" mixed in with a good dose of humility...how can I answer the question "When did you know you were talented, that you had a gift?"
I think that part of it is from the confirmation from others but it can't be solely based on that. If you are relying on others for their good opinions it may leave you in a state of inertia over the negative ones.
So while a little confirmation is good, it's not a reliable indicator. I love Stephen King, others don't. Both opinions are valid. Stephen King isn't for everyone. Stephen King is still talented in my opinion.
How do you know if you have a gift then? It has to come from inside. You begin to operate from a place of complete knowing that this is what you are supposed to be doing with your life, this is your purpose. Your gift is something you get lost in, it's the thing that makes you lose track of time and brings you joy. Whether or not you are good at it is subjective at best. Certainly we're grateful Stephen King didn't stop writing because he wasn't as good as Hemingway.(Just an example, don't get crazy)
The gift is having that place of joy in your life. If you allow yourself to go there, to practice your art then you will get better and your talent will become evident. Just by virtue of allowing yourself to be on purpose you will become better at your chosen work.
So start now. Don't judge the art, just lose yourself in it. Give yourself permission to pursue your passions. Give yourself the gift of joy and let go of the attachment that it be better than someone else's gift. You'll know it when you feel it.
And speaking of art..check out this painting my my cousin Tonya Hoffe
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