“It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.”
A wonderful story recounted here with general faithfulness: The legendary violinist Niccolo Paganini was giving a well-attended performance. Only minutes before he was about to play, he rushed around backstage frantically searching for something. Then he went out and gave a musical rendition that proved to be one of the highlights of his career. After he stepped off the stage, someone approached him and asked why he was so agitated right before performing. “I forgot my Stradivarius,” he replied, and so he was forced to borrow another musician’s instrument. “But tonight,” he added, “I learned the most important lesson of my life. Before I thought the music was in my violin. Now I know the music is in me.”
This lovely story comes to us via my friend and mentor Rob Gilbert’s wonderful Success Hotline (973.743.4690) — and it never ceases to inspire me.
“Now I know the music is in me” — what a precious discovery and how true it is for all of us: The music is in me — and the music is in you. While I have no idea what your unique song is as a writer, I do know a few things about the music inside you:
It’s waiting for you: Whatever it is you long to say it is waiting inside you yearning to be said. It may wait so quietly that it can be ignored or overlooked — and even, sadly, remain unsung and unsaid. It may bubble up irrepressibly and mischievously. It may agitate and disturb you, giving you no peace until you respond to its call. But fierce or feather-light, it yearns to be recognized and nourished.
It’s calling you: You can ignore it and distract yourself from it. You can tease it by starting and then stopping projects. You can frustrate it by never pushing through to completion. You can rob it of strength through inaction and indecision. You can find a hundred ways not to answer its call, but it will somehow survive and persist.
It’s depending on you: You are the only one who can sing your particular song — there’s no one else. And so that song depends on you: on your desire, your discipline, your drive. Without you, it will never be sung. With your intention and ingenuity, it’s everything.
It wants to spring forth: Whatever your song, your unique vision or idea to shared, it inclines lifeward — it seeks expression and expansion. Nourish it with tender loving care, with devotion and discipline, and it will reward you by surprising you with unexpected turns of events, encounters, coincidences — little gifts from the universe to support, encourage, and embolden you. Write on!
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