Last year was filled with doubt. It blossomed into an obsession in trying to figure out how artists keep moving forward when they haven’t seen success? Before you start into some theoretical discussion about “What do you define as success?” I’ll tell you I also had a personal tragedy which deepened my doubt about whether it’s worth pursuing a dream like writing. How can you keep dumping time into a “hobby” when there are children to hug?
After a long period of not writing and much soul-searching I discovered for me the dream is worth pursuing. There’s a greatness in chasing after something incredibly hard when it doesn’t feel like anyone believes in it, including myself some days. Doubt brings with it the darkness of “What’s the point anyways?” and I don’t want to live my life in that dungeon. So I set out to break through doubt by being inspired by people who have done it.
This is also my fifth year since I started my writing journey and that doesn’t seem coincidental. A few weeks ago I wondered if I could make it to this writer milestone. What’s so special about the 5th? My first thought goes to the famous line in “V for Vendetta” when the masked hero says “Remember, remember, the 5th of November.” He sings this to the public in hopes they will rise with him to break through their fear and revolt again their repressive government. This doesn’t seem so different from my battle cry to continue on with something challenging I value as important.
Then 2014 decided to shoot me another memorable 5. For me, this November 5th will be easy to remember because I’m facing the big 4-0. Yep, it’s here. If you’ve read this blog at all you know my birthday and the year’s end always leave me in a funk. I take stock of what I didn’t accomplish in the last 365, when I was one year younger. I’ve told people for months that I will start my binge drinking on November 3rd and carry it through November 6 (or until someone stops me) so I don’t really know when it happens. Yanno, that universe shift where I went from a take-your-time-to-figure-out-who-you-are thirty-something to the full-fledged get-your-shit-together grown-up.
In honor of these momentous occasions, I will dedicate the 5th of each month to a breakthrough story. They will be titled “Breakthrough” and authored by or about cool people who know how to get stuff done when they doubted they could. I hope it will inspire all of us to persevere and continue on with the path we know we are meant to follow.
If you have a great story, reach out to me because we would all love to hear it.