“I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.”—Daniel Hillel
I discovered this quote in Bird by Bird, a book on writing by Anne Lamott. She mentions she taped it to the wall near her desk to help her deal with jealousy over another writer’s success.
Although perhaps directed toward life in general, the quote easily applies to the ups and downs of writing: self-doubt, rejection, futility, criticism, creative ruts. What writer hasn’t licked these wounds?
Though I first dipped my toes in the fiction pond fifteen years ago (excluding the novels of my youth that withered after chapter one), I only dived in fully the last four. And in these four years I have:
And kept dancing.
You know the drill. Not everything we start pans out. Agents and publishers won’t flock to our doors. Our books will get lost on Amazon among millions of other books.
But when we fall down, we get back up, because the dancing makes it worth it. That dance of fire and passion when our stories come alive. That dance of satisfaction when we connect the pieces and create a whole. That dance of having other people enjoy our work.
Well, at least that’s my dance, anyway.
Whether for writing or other life challenges, what keeps you dancing?
*This fabulous photo is of my sister-in-law, Lisa Conlin, professional dancer in both Minneapolis and Sioux Falls. She is the Co-Artistic Director (along with Raena Rasmussen) of LiRa Dance Theater Company, premiering August 4th at the Museum of Visual Materials in Sioux Falls, SD. I wish I could say my dear husband has her skills, but he does not. Which is another thing he and I have in common.
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