I read an interesting post yesterday by Raymond Philippe entitled, Writing Goals And Objectives. Go Ahead – Dream! This article got me thinking about a mistake my father made several years ago that put me on a different path. Since it’s now the Christmas season I’ll go ahead and share this as I begin to write during this month about where I’ve been this year and where I’m going in 2015.
It may have been 2008 or 2009 but either way it was during the economic upheaval when most of us weren’t willing to spend much if anything. I was in the same situation as many – slim on money and worried about keeping a job. Christmas rolled around and it was rather thin on gifts but a good time with family.
However, my dad brought out gifts that were surprisingly nice given the state of the economy. I received a GPS which was very generous except for one thing – I already had purchased one a few years earlier when times were better and I had gotten a good raise with a change of position. I kept politely quiet and didn’t mention it at the moment but a return was in order.
A few days later, I explained the situation to my father and asked if he had the receipt. He didn’t have one but told me from which store chain he’d bought the GPS and was apologetic about his well-intended mistake. I called the local store and inquired about returns without a receipt and was informed I could get only an in-store credit without one. This was fine except I didn’t know what I’d spend the credit on as a good replacement for such a gift.
I went down to the store, made the return and got the credit without a hitch. I was still at a loss about how to use the money so I took a walk through the store and found laptops on after-Christmas sale. They even had rebates on them for extra cash back. I wanted one but had no immediate reason to purchase one. I went home and thought it through.
I hadn’t been writing much – if at all – for several years but I had an inclination to do so. The more I thought about it, the more a I realized I could use a laptop as a tool to jump-start my writing. I got on my old desktop computer and searched the store chain website for laptops that were still on-sale with a rebate. I found one of the least expensive ones but the credit would only cover almost half of the cost. However, with the rebate the cost would be minimal. I jumped on the deal, bought the laptop and sent in the rebate.
I later called my dad and let him know how things had turned out. I told him what I was going to do with the laptop and he was pleased. From that point, I began to explore writing in this digital age using that laptop. That eventually led to where I am now – my firm commitment this last year to my writing and being on the cusp of self-publishing my first full-length book.
It was an honest misake on my father’s part but that gift led me down a circuitous path toward publication. The laptop has since been retired with a failed screen after almost four years in service but I still have it and it runs with the help of an external monitor. My laptop serves as my desk and I do many tasks with it including a great deal of writing these days.
My father passed away in 2012. He knew that I was writing and even had a bit of publication success with a short story but I’m not quite sure he understood how much his mistake affected me. It was serendipity for my writing and I’m very grateful for the generosity. I think my dad was always frustrated that he couldn’t do more for those he loved but I think he did more than he understood.
In the book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron discusses launching out creatively. Her feeling is that when we reach out creatively we begin to encounter many happy accidents of serendipity that carry us along the our personal artistic path. I’ve found this notion to be true more than once and I’m sure I will again. It’s something I should consider more often as I work creatively.
This year I’ve dared to dream big with the beginning of my author platform and pushing to publish. Next year I will continue to dream even more by actually completing that project and – maybe – one or two others. During this week and the coming weeks, I’m going to share more about where I’ve come from and where I’m going as encouragement for other writers and artists who are either beginning their creative journey or those who may find themselves floundering with hesitation, doubt or some other creative block. It’s nothing special – just how I forged ahead with my plans through some ups and downs but I hope it helps someone along their own creative journey by sharing my own plans and ideas.
What gave you a jump-start with your creative endeavors? What’s holding you back? What ideas for moving along in your journey can you share with others? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.
Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.