Walking In The Dust: The Blessings Of An Unclear Vision
- There is a blessing in uncertainty. There is a gift in the blur. When one is afflicted with either temporary or systematic self-doubt, walking in the dust is the clearest path to trust. -
It wasn't supposed to be anything. Just another meandering of the mind as the hand emancipates on the page.
I was living in a small, simple apartment in a hip post-punk neighborhood of Berlin. I had gotten in a habit of getting up with the sun and stain three pages with wild chatter, before getting back to working on a story that devoured my imagination at the time.
As the streets would begin to fill with evaded clubbers, worn-out night clowns on whom the sun's first rays had no rejuvenating effect, I would sit. Bent over the imitation wood table I had found on the street, I would let my feather loose. -It's good of creativity...it's how you speak to the divine-, I would picture Julia Cameron* say to me, as I fought yawns and eluding sentences.
At some point midway through page two, I startled from realizing I had been staring at the void for too long. I put my ink pen down, and it wrote. "I was having a dream. It was the most beautiful dream."
My handwriting looked different; it almost seemed coherent.
The sun was at its highest when I screw the cap back on the ink pen. Victorious, resting on the table, the draft that had borrowed my consciousness for several hours was staring at me.
I didn't know anything about this story, only for it had to be written. And it would be, and I would have to interrupt my progression with the other book to give this one attention, until it would reach...some stage of completion, I guessed.
From then on, guessing is pretty much all I did. I guessed through rewritings and edits, guessed through sending it off to friends whose honesty I trust, and guessed through revisit entire segments for the fourth and then the fifth time.
It's only once I had a fair final version that I realized that all the visions I had been seeing as I was writing, should be seen by others too.
And so I set on to finding an illustrator, reaching out and checking in, scrutinizing artists' doodles and masterpieces to recognize a familiar spirit, a wild heart.
With more serendipitous mojo than I can possibly convey through words, I did, (click here to discover Jen Carnes' work), and when I dove into the seas of our collaboration, for the first time I allowed myself to take a step back and look a the journey travelled.
God did I feel grateful I hadn't forecasted any of this: had I known the labor it would require, I would have had the reasonable decency to discourage myself from writing the first paragraph.
Later, as I was reading about getting illustrated books published, I came to realize I had to publish this story myself. I would have to raise funds through a crowdsourcing campaign, a field in which I had no experience, and an idea for which I had a limpid aversion.
Asking for help demands the most noble form of courage; the grit of humility. And I didn't possess much of it.
But following the pattern this book had ignited within me, I begun to study everything I could find on generating a following and launching a successful crowdfunding campaign.
It's been two years since the timeless morning of The Scent Of Dream's first draft. I still overflow with thankfulness for all these steps to have been unveiled one at the time.
"If I had seen what I did from the swing before starting to follow the scent of my dream, I would never have moved a toe.", the main character says in the book.
There is a blessing in uncertainty. There is a gift in the blur. When one is afflicted with either temporary or systematic self-doubt, walking in the dust is the clearest path to trust.
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*Julia Cameron is the Author of The Artist's Way, an international bestseller on creativity.