Saturday, July 11, 2015

Don't bury your talent, choose to fight your dragon

Hello all! My name is Cassie Shiels and I am the new blogger on every other Saturday! I am very excited about this opportunity and challenge.  :D

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     Many of us know the parable of the talents. The one who got the five talents doubled his talents. The one who got two talents gained two more. But the one who only got one talent buried it.
     I have been blessed with different talents in my life. Some have been easier to work on then others. Some I work harder at growing then others. But I am sure we are all the same in that area.
     One of the talents I feel like I have been given is writing. I would never claim to be a great master, but I am trying to grow my writing talents, because I love it. I love to create stories.
     I do have a big weakness in the area of writing, that might be very obvious to some reading this post. Grammar! I struggle with it and a few years ago I let it get the better of me.
     I gave up writing! (I will wait for the screams of horror to subside)
     I decided that I couldn't do it, not with my weakness. So I decided to "bury" my writing talent away. I kept telling myself that, "there is a time and a season."At that time I was a young mom with two small babies only 17 months apart and to be honest I was scared to fight my dragon of weakness. I made the decision to put away my writing until later, when my kids were older perhaps. Maybe I would pick it up again, maybe not.
     Part of this decision was influenced by me sending my finished manuscript to a friend, who had agreed to do a grammar edit. When I got her email back, I couldn't bring myself to open the edits. I flat out gave up. I said, "I can't do it, my weakness is to great!" I was like a scared little knight who took one look at a huge red flaming dragon and, and said, "no, it's too big!" So I turned tail and ran.
     I did do good things during my almost 2 years as a non-writer. I did grow some other talents that I didn't know I even had. I know I claimed that I had given up, but the stories would not leave me alone. I was still creating stories in my head, even if I didn't write any of them down. Making stories was just a part of me.
     Finally almost two years after I gave up, a spark of bravery ignited in my heart. My younger brother started talking about his writing dreams and I felt his excitement, and I wanted that too. Things started to look different to me. When watching my favorite T.V. shows instead of just enjoying them, my heart started to hurt, as I realized I was watching other story tellers' dreams come true. That thought made it harder to enjoy my T.V. shows. But I was still scared, I had a huge dragon waiting for me and I didn't know if I was really willing to fight it.
     My husband started encouraging me to write a non-fiction book for my childbirth classes, and that was less scary so I started with that. It was going to be mostly pictures. I was brave enough to write a little book like that, so I took a deep breath and plunged in.
     Occasionally I thought about that finished manuscript with the grammar edit just waiting for me but I let the fear convince me out of facing it. Finally another one of my brothers challenged me to just open the email, and he set a deadline for me to do so. So one night when I was feeling particularly brave. I donned my armor, sword, and shield and I opened the email and faced my dragon. You know what it wasn't as bad as I thought.
     I dug up my talent and got excited about my writing again. I did find that I had lost a lot of momentum and skills, but not all was lost. I worked through that edit, and a few edits after that and I am now a published author.
     I gave up for a while. If you find yourself giving up at some point too, it's okay. It happens. But know that just because you say you can't do it today, doesn't mean you can't do it tomorrow. If you find yourself burying something you love just because its hard, I challenge you to dig it up. Give it another try.
     There might be a time and a season for some things, but for other things we just need to find a way to make it work in our life. Not letting it take over, mind you, but joining in. And if you have a dragon to fight like me, just know that I am still fighting it. My grammar weakness will not go away overnight. I am fighting it everyday, but now at least, I am not running away.


6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Cassie. Nice to have you on board as an ANWA Founder and Friends Blogger!

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  2. Excellent first post. We all have those pesky dragons that get the best of us at times. Don't worry about the grammar dragon though that's what an editor is for.

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  3. I love the post Cassie. Welcome aboard. Fighting dragons is an adventure. Good for you for taking on yours. hugs~

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  4. I love the post Cassie. Welcome aboard. Fighting dragons is an adventure. Good for you for taking on yours. hugs~

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