Recently, I was asked the question: what kind of books do you want to write? Silly question, I thought. I want to write books that will get published. Simple. No need to make it any more complicated than that. But, this weekend, a few things happened that provided better focus.
One, I completed a full second draft on a manuscript that I had been working on for about the last year. At it's core, it’s the story about a child being loved by his family. Two, I began and finished another first draft. It deals with issues of self esteem. Three, I saw the movie, Akeelah and the Bee. This movie addressed many of the same themes I’ve written about. What spoke the loudest to me, was Akeelah's drive to take her talents to the top of the world through the memory of her father, the help of a mentor, the support of her family, and the entire south Los Angeles community as a whole. This movie just blew me away! So you can imagine my disappointment at discovering it was pure fiction. Ug, that really hurt.
Anyway, I’ve given more thought to the kind of children’s books I want to write: I want to write books that help children realize, through the characters I create, that the highest human potential can be reached with a desire to succeed, a bit of faith, and a lot of hard work. So far, without even thinking about it, I’ve written three stories that exemplify that goal.
Here's a quote used in the movie, that I now have plastered to my computers, at home, and at work:
‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?
You are a child of God, small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of god that lives in us. It is not in some of us, it is in all of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others.’
- Marianne Williamson in Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles
Wow, what a mantra!