‘Fess Up and Rise Up

Do you want to write a best-selling novel?  C'mon now, tell the truth.  Or perhaps it is a memoir you have your heart set on penning.  How about a collection of short-stories, articles for national magazines, a blog entry for the Huffington Post?

Or maybe its a different kind of creativity you have your heart set on.  Maybe you want to paint.  Or knit.  Or tat.  Or climb mountains, or go spelunking (nobody will ever, as long as I draw breath on this planet, convince me to contort myself into a cave, but you can go without me).


Whatever it is you want to do, confess it now. I'll wait for a minute.

Did you have a hard time admitting your desires?

I thought so.  Many of us do.  I've pondered this a lot and come up with the following reasons why this is so:

  • Our desires and goals feel precious and fragile, as if they will dissolve with one harsh word or raised eyebrow.
  • Life and work are supposed to be hard, dammit.  What's all this balderdash about desires?
  • If you have a desire/goal, and you tell someone about it, and then you fail (or even just take awhile to accomplish it) people will give you those I knew you couldn't do it looks.
  • If you have a desire/goal, and you succeed at it, then that will mean, oh God, change.  Life will be different.  Yikes!
  • It's sort of embarrassing to want more.  Because, shouldn't we just be satisfied with the status quo?

I'm sure you can come up with your very own reason not to admit what you want.  But right here, right now, I'll give you one excellent reason why you should:

Because if you don't honor your desires, you'll shrivel up and die, at least on the inside.

Since I do not want this to happen to you, I'm declaring 2011 the Year of 'Fessing Up and Rising Up.  Yes, when I'm not busy being fierce, radical, and profound (you yourself may choose your own words) I plan to keep active by working hard on achieving my own goals.  And you should, too. But in order to do that, first we have to confess what they are.

You know that words have power.  Spoken words have even greater power.  And written words, to my mind, have the most power of all. Once you speak or write your desire, a natural sort of rising up begins to occur.  So join with me now in welcoming the Year of 'Fessing Up and Rising Up by confessing your desires.

You can start in the comments, if you would like.  But if that is a bit too public for you, grab your journal and start writing.

Oh, and by the way, if you need help gaining clarity around your desires and how to achieve them consider booking a Get Your Writing in Gear session.  (And remember, even if you really want to sculpt or create a beautiful garden, the sessions will work for you, too.)  They are on special through January 15th.


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9 Responses to ‘Fess Up and Rise Up

  1. Don 12/21/2010 at 10:11 #

    Good advice Charlotte and something I will take to heart. Thanks.

  2. Charlotte Dixon 12/21/2010 at 11:44 #

    You’re welcome, Don, and have a great holiday!

  3. Lauri 12/21/2010 at 17:00 #

    Great post Charlotte, yes I definitely feel like I shouldn’t want more. It’s not that I don’t appreciate all I have, I really do. But yeah, I want a more creative life. So I’ll join you on this year of “Fessing Up and Rising Up”. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Adina West 12/21/2010 at 20:18 #

    I think I’ve already *sort of* started on this journey a couple of years ago. That was basically when I gave voice to my inner goals and desires in a conversation with my mother, and said aloud “I want to write. I really want to write.” I remember it was such an important moment that I actually shed tears.

    I agree wholeheartedly that being true to our inner desires, being brave enough to go after them, and voicing them aloud are all very very important things – and that without that honesty to ourselves we run the risk of ending up a withered and unhappy soul!

    Thank you for your comments and suggestions in response to my recent post – and funnily enough, though I haven’t read any novel writing books I have read Syd Fields (and another screenplay focused book published more recently, whose author’s name escapes me). I think I probably got the concept of ‘turning point’ from screenplay terminology as that’s one of the things which definitely gets referred to in that field.

    Hope 2011 is a wonderful year of rising up and achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself!

  5. Charlotte Dixon 12/22/2010 at 07:43 #

    Lauri, I know, sometimes wanting more can feel like we don’t appreciate what we have. I think that’s where I get hung up with gratitude–it can feel like the booby prize. But I also believe so strongly that if we have that spark within us and we don’t let it out, it’ll eventually kill us, or make us very, very sick.

    Hi Adina, thanks for stopping by. Sounds like you are well on your journey! I love that moment you recount when you told your mother you want to write. And I’m glad that you’ve read Syd Fields–he really is the one that everybody bases their work on.

    I’m so excited! Let’s have a ‘Fess Up and Rise Up movement!

  6. Patrick Ross 12/22/2010 at 09:28 #

    Charlotte, I love the idea of declaring a year for this. I’m a gospel music fan, and in that world what you’re asking people to do is “Testify!”

    I’m trying to be brave on this front myself, my blog is my start. Whether spoken aloud or written down, words do have power, and I love this line: “Once you speak or write your desire, a natural sort of rising up begins to occur.”

  7. Charlotte Dixon 12/22/2010 at 09:47 #

    Patrick, I love “Testify!” That is truly awesome. And you have made an amazing start with your blog, and the fact that you have chucked the day job to free-lance–you’re an inspiration!

  8. Sue_Mitchell 12/24/2010 at 08:18 #

    Charlotte, you are so right about this. I love your list of reasons we keep our desires secret, and would add that besides worrying what others will think, sometimes we also talk to ourselves in discouraging ways and tell ourselves we can’t do it.

    I learned this while doing an activity where one of the steps was to describe your vision of what you want. I had a lot of trouble with that step. It was all blurry and vague.

    Then in the next step, you look at what you perceive as obstacles to achieving your vision and come up with ways to overcome them. Once I’d done that, suddenly the vision started becoming clear.

    It was as if I wasn’t letting myself even acknowledge what I wanted because before I had a chance to dream, I was telling myself, “That could never happen.”

    I’d also add that on some level, we know that pursuing our dreams requires *work*. Maybe someone wants to *have* a bestselling book, but do they really want to go through the trouble of writing it? :) When we focus too much on the end result, sometimes we lose the sense of joy in the process.

    Also love Patrick’s “testify”! I’m going to remember that the next time I’m tempting to keep a creative desire hidden away!

    Thanks so much for starting this conversation. Great food for thought!

  9. Charlotte Dixon 12/24/2010 at 08:32 #

    Sue, That’s a killer too, the old “that could never happen.” We’re so conditioned to think that way. When I stop and think about it, I’ve been guilty of sometimes thinking this about other people. Its that energy of scoffing at other’s desires, and I think it comes from envy and jealousy. I like to think I’m immune to it, but I’m not. The difference is that I now notice it and turn it around.

    And yes, I love your mention that following our dreams takes work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into people who say they want to write a book, but when it comes to sitting down and doing it, they don’t want to bother.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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