Note From Rochelle
Happy June! I was delighted to be named Artist of the Month by the Southeastern Wisconsin Arts Guild (S.W.A.G.). S.W.A.G offers artists and writers an opportunity to learn about and connect with each other. The blog regularly promotes members’ events. And if that wasn’t enough, members receive discounted ticket prices on many major art events in the city! If you’re an artist in southeastern Wisconsin, go check out S.W.A.G.’s great site!
I’m not quite sure what the artist of the month does, but I plan to use my powers for good. Today’s task: encouraging you! Read on to learn how you can discover and use your secret super powers!
Happy writing, Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Did you know, you were born as the first, and the last and the best and the only one of your kind, and that eccentricity is the first sign of giftedness? These are two of the crone truths I have to offer you. —Clarissa Pinkola Estes, The Dangerous Old Woman: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
I recently had a conversation with a three-year-old boy wearing a cape. He told me about his secret super powers (I’m not allowed to share them with you). I don’t know about you, but on most days a few super powers (not to mention the cape) would come in mighty handy for writing.
Author and Jungian psychoanalyst Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes says that we can find our giftedness (e.g., our secret super powers) inside our eccentricities. Often people criticize us for the very thing that makes us unique and exceptional. She encourages people to list everything they’ve been ridiculed or criticized for—and then look for the gift hiding under the criticisms.
When I did the exercise, I remembered something a colleague said to me in grad school, “It’s not that you lack intelligence. It’s just that you’re not serious enough.” At the time, I felt criticized and hurt. I ranted in my head: “What did she mean by not serious enough. I’ll show her. I can be just as serious as the rest of them.” But I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried, I could not hide or lose my sense of humor.
Perhaps that classmate was offering constructive criticism, but now I hear it as a sign: You are playful. You are funny. Keep that at the heart of your work. When I’m stuck with writing, I can always write forward by using my secret super power: my sense of humor.
Writers, take a second look at the criticisms you have received. Make a list of those eccentricities that your friends and family complain about. Then dig a bit deeper to find your genius—or secret super power—lurking inside those eccentricities. Once you know your secret super powers, you can use them to overcome writer’s block and finish that writing project!
Your turn: How have you found your secret super powers?