I love getting my daily email from Advice to Writers. It reminds me that I am a writer, before I even open it, and the advice is so often spot-on to what I’ve been thinking about, that it’s uncanny.
So, this, from John Green, author of Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, and other novels, just when all of us are thinking especially fervently about gifts,and (especially) just when I am fussing over what I can do for my next act, and why I should do it:
“Every single day, I get emails from aspiring writers asking my advice about how to become a writer, and here is the only advice I can give: Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts.” -John Green
This might be true for all of us. Think of the parable of the talents from the Bible. First, they’re your gifts, given to you. Second, you share them with the world. Where’s the need for anxiety?
Rereading Green’s advice, it strikes me that part of my task is to not get all tangled up in trying to imagine what people will notice and like. Focus on the gift, Bethany. Do the next thing. Most of all: Do what you love to do and trust that it’s needed