My dear friend Gina at La Bella Avenue, is doing a wonderful series of posts called Lessons from Battle Scars. It is a series where others share how their trials and failures helped them to achieve their goals. I am honored to be asked to share my own battle scars. So please enjoy!!
Hmmm . creative battle scares. I have so many I could write a book on the subject! Like the time when I was eight and decided to make my sick mother a cake to cheer her up. I dumped the box mix, in the mixer and set it on high. Turned to go grease the cake pan but I kept feeling something cold against my neck. Finally I looked around to find cake batter splattered everywhere. I think there was even some on the ceiling. My poor mother had to drag herself out of bed to clean the kitchen. I am pretty sure she did not feel very loved or pampered that day. Then there was the time I thought adding some flour to the frosting (to thicken it) was a good idea or how in junior high I got kicked out of home-ec. cooking class after two weeks. I think the last straw for the teacher was when I used salt instead of sugar in the recipe. The interesting thing about getting kicked out of home-ec. is I was already helping my mother cook for her dinner parties. I hated hanging out with the kids in the back yard and having hot dogs. I discovered if I helped cook and serve, I could avoid the obnoxious boys and the hot dogs :- )
It is kind of embarrassing to admit I was kicked out of home-ec. since I write and blog about cooking. I was kicked out basically because I do not learn like everyone else. Most people start with the basics and build their way up but I start with the complicated stuff and work backwards. I could make chicken Kiev (which is a lot of work) by the time I was 16 but did not learn how to properly hardboiled egg until I was 30. I think the reason why I do better with complicated is it forces my dyslexic, slightly ADD brain to focus and slow down. Plus, if I do not care about something, I tend to not give it much focus. My whole childhood was about not fitting in and finding my way of doing things, which is not like most people!
Whenever I tried to do things the ‘logical’ way, it never turned out. When I did it my harebrained way, it was rockin’! Over time I learned to listen to my gut and trust it. The good thing about all that criticism was I developed a thick skin and a strong intuition. I can feel when I am heading in the right direction with my creativity. I have learned to be brave and trust my vision. Being brave is a big part of being successful, so is making mistakes. Believe me, I have made many more flops, than successes. I have had to tear apart my work, put it back together only to tear it apart again. I think one of my strengths, is I am hardheaded. When I have a vision, I cannot stop thinking about it. I cannot sleep. I cannot let it go until I have worked it out.
When I wrote my novel I had no clue what I was doing. I did things the hard way, like I usually do but then I learned a lot that way. I kept at it, moving forward with the book. Finally one day I had a novel worth reading, well … I hope it is worth reading. It would have been so easy to tell myself not to write because I would look like an idiot. Actually I did tell myself that but then I ignored myself. I am dyslexic. Dyslexics do not write books! I knew nothing about how to write or self-publish. Basically I was/am clueless.
Really though you only have two choices, you can let your fear stop you or let your dreams push you. I keep moving forward, listening to my gut and battling each problem as they come along. When Gina asked me if I would like to contribute, I thought her concept ‘Lessons from Battle Scars’ an interesting way of looking at success. Since I am a pretty creative person, I tend to look at success in a creative format. Success to me, means being able to bringing to life ones dreams but in order to make your dreams come true, you have to have some battle scars!