Children's author Natalie Reeves-Billing talks about the importance of planting seeds of hope if you wish to see your creation grow and how facing challenges head on can help the creative vision grow into tangible reality.
Think of a tiny seed falling onto the crest of a snowy mountain. So new and exposed, and looking for somewhere to take root and flourish. That was me a few weeks ago, as I contemplated the road ahead. The journey that would transform me from proud owner of PDF files of rhyming prose to a real author with actual, living breathing books to sell.
When I think of the future, I generally picture a destination. Not the pitstops in between. Take holidays, for example. I don't tend to factor in the little detours along the way. The killing of time in sandwich bars, waiting for delayed flights. The security line when someone forgets to bag their toiletries. No. I see the beach and the margaritas.
So, you know that tiny, fragile seed I mentioned earlier? It took the plunge. Rolled right down that craggy mountainside, picking up speed and snow, gaining size and momentum. Adding layers of new information, experience, contacts, and networks as it plummeted towards its final goal. Hitting snags here and there, but pushing on nonetheless. Always moving forward.
I’ll sift through it all once the dust settles, and I'll discover new things. Links, opportunities. I still have no idea where I'm heading, but I love the freshness of it all. After weeks of staring at the same walls, the same faces, and the same sameness that had become my daily life.
The book launch was a sort of secret Santa. Messages of solidarity gifted to me from people wanting to connect, those who related to the things I said on radio. Others with similar ideas or projects. So much love and support. It provided me with pieces of a puzzle I'm sure I'll finish one day. And what a proud day that will be.
Each day reveals something new and unexpected. I needed that so much. Positives to fill the void left by the loved ones I can't see, and the hobbies that once filled me with joy.
I realised that any success we have in life is not just a personal, individual achievement. Everything is connected. Part of a massive team effort. A synergy we don't even know exists. That advice from a co-worker, which led to that online interview, that got the bookstore stocking your books, that gave you a whole new audience. That audiobook that attracted the parenting website that did that review, that brought the newspapers to your door. Cause and effect. A snowball rolling, gathering, and growing.
When we truly believe in something, there is an inexplicable momentum. An energy that draws people in and propels you forward whether you like it or not. When we push hard, even on our days off, this force won't let you off the hook, it will continue to flow, buffeting you on, breaking new ground. It will deliver you where you need to be. I am in that flow right now. I don't know where this wave will set me down, but I am enjoying the ride. Set your mind on something good, something real, and the world will provide.
Don't let anything hold you back. Not even a pandemic.