I am calling myself out.
When I visit schools, I always try to impress upon the students that they should follow their dreams. That they should not listen to those who spew “no”s. That they should leave the “no-it-alls” in the dust.
You see, writing for children has always been a dream of mine and I share my journey with others in the hope that I will encourage them to follow their own.
But admittedly, I dreamed of telling stories before words were even an option. When I was very young, I wanted to be an artist. I spent many blissful hours drawing the world around me. Drawing what was in my head. Drawing what was in my heart.
One day in third grade, I was drawing a picture of a horse (one of my favorite subjects) while waiting in line to go into school. I remember it so vividly. A few of my classmates were looking on and smiling their encouragement, when an older boy (whom I assumed to be a much-wiser student of perhaps the fourth grade) peeked over my shoulder.
“That looks stupid,” he said.
Three little words. That crushed me.
I’m not saying I stopped drawing at that moment, but I did “with-draw” from sharing my art. From aspiring to be an artist. I believed him…and consequently lost any belief in myself.
As this New Year starts, I am choosing to revisit that time, that place, that passion. It was a long time ago, but I’m no longer letting that “no” rule my creative world.
Please join me. What will you discover when you let go of the “no”?