When you’re living your art, the universe tends to send other creative souls your way… especially those who need a life-giving boost to feed their own creative souls.
Me, standing by the elevator, checking out from my writing retreat. I’m floating on a high of happy, toting luggage, including my writing bag. An older woman approaches to wait for a ride. I smile – because I’m friendly and I’m buzzing on a creative high. I turn away to not press her into conversation.
Her: Do you really enjoy writing?
Me: *surprised* *sees she noticed my LOOK OUT OR YOU’LL END UP IN MY NOVEL bag* “Yes! I’m a novelist, so it’s my thing.”
The elevator arrives. We board. I stay silent.
Her: I like to read books.
Me: *recognizing this is her second attempt to get my attention, so I give it in spades* Do you? What do you like to read?
Her: (she lists a few classics, mostly literary)
Her: *voice so quiet I almost can’t hear it* I’ve thought about writing. But I’m afraid.
We exit the elevator. I realize the universe has sent me this person, so I stop her in the hallway.
Me: Everyone’s afraid. Every single person who writes is afraid. You need to do it anyway.
Her: But I’m 65. I’m too old.
Me: That doesn’t matter. Only the fear matters. You conquer that, and you can do anything.
Her: I don’t believe you.
Me: *big smile* Of course, you don’t. You’re still afraid. But it’s true. Here… I have a book for you to read. (I’m thinking: she’s a reader. She’ll read a book.)
Her: What kind of book?
Me: It’s about fear. It’s about how there’s this thing called Resistance in the world and it’s trying to stop you from doing your life’s work. From fulfilling your soul. It talks about how to conquer that fear and claim a creative life for yourself. It’s called the War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Because Art is a War you have to fight, a fear you have to conquer, every day.
Me: Will you read it?
Her: I’m going to go upstairs and download it. Right now.
Me: *BIG smile* Good. (I give her a literal pat on the back – total stranger, and I’m TOUCHING her. But it’s what she needs. Because she’s just done an effing scary thing and taken that first step and I’m so proud of her.) You have a wonderful day.
And I grab my stuff and leave.
(These are the spoils of the War of Art… the rewards you gather by sheer dint of practicing your art and sending those vibrations out into the universe.)