I’m making good progress on my edits, there’s only one more item to line up and we’ll be golden. It’s funny how you think your manuscript is good and golden — then you leave it for a few months and keep reading others’ work — and you come back to some atrocious snarl. My critique groups constantly put me through my paces, and I’m really lucky to benefit from their example and specific lessons. But what if it isn’t luck; but rather something I had control over all along?
The words “awesome attracts awesome” came from the mouth of a cynic this morning. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. He asked me if I agreed. It’s true, I thought; but it’s true over time… and that’s the tricky part.
I’ve probably written about this before. Seeking out awesome people for friendship doesn’t make you awesome. Fixating on it, like a goal, is shooting yourself in the foot. That’s like inviting someone out for coffee solely to get them to promote your book in exchange. Compassion and good will can’t be offered or accepted in fixed amounts — they must flow naturally without obligation or expectation.
The best way to get someone to give you feedback on your work, is to ask for theirs. Read it with the support, care and rigor you’d want your own work to receive. Know, in your heart, that their success is your success.
Awesome cannot be negotiated, requested, or bartered for. The only way to be awesome is to recognize and honor the awesome in others.
Mitsuo Aida, a poet and calligrapher, wrote that if you can see beauty in the world, it’s because your heart is beautiful. I think the same is true of threats, ugliness, quality, sorrow, and of course, Awesome. If you recognize others as ugly, it’s because you have ugliness within you. If you recognize others as talented, it’s because you have talent within you. An encouraging message, to be sure, but utterly meaningless unless applied.
If you’ve visited me in meat-land or cyber-land, you already know the best ways to recognize and honor someone else’s Awesome Support each other. Celebrate each other’s successes. Commiserate over each other’s losses. The best way to grow — to learn — to achieve what you set out to do is to acknowledge those around you that have helped you to this point. By believing in each other, I demonstrate belief in myself. If I can see your truth and your talent, I’m that much closer to achieving it myself.
“You can have everything you want if you ask for it in an unselfish way.”
― Rob Brezsny
“Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
― Kahlil Gibran