This video appeared on my subscription feed this morning, and it reminded me of Carolyn See’s step to making a literary life, “Do Some Magic.”
For those of you out there that haven’t read her wonderful book, Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers, “Do Some Magic” is all about self-affirmation and creating a positive place in the world to exist.
As writers, or people who spend too much time in our own heads, I think it’s too easy to get down on ourselves. I’ve found myself many times saying inwardly, “Nope, this essay is no good. You just will never be as good a writer as your peers.” This kind of self-created negativity does no one any good, and creates nothing but frustration toward the writing process.
To break that cycle, it’s necessary to take the time to say, “Yes. I can do this. I am capable and creative and intelligent and a genuinely interesting person to know.” It feels really cheesy and weird the first few times, but eventually there is a distinct glow left after the words. The more you focus on that slight positive feeling, the more you begin to recognize the power that comes from verbally patting yourself on the back.
Now, what’s really cool to think about is, if telling ourselves, “I am a wonderful student/brother/sister/son/daughter/husband/wife/father/mother/etc.” can have a meaningful effect, imagine what it could do if we took the time to say it outwardly to others.
Saying to a peer, “You are a great student, really, you are.” Or to a parent, “Mom, I’m happy that you’re my mother.” Or even to a stranger, showing they matter by taking the time to ask, “You look tired, how’s your day going?”
I think this is the kind of magic that Carolyn See is referring to when she says,
“I hope I’m wrong, but I imagine that about 90 percent of the human race is snoozing along, just going through the motions. And 100 percent of us dull out some of the time. It takes miracles, white magic, wonders, to jog us from our slumber. What if we really were masters of our mind and life? What if we were God-in-action? What would we do then?”
Or, as Kid President in the above vid says so wonderfully simply,
“We could make everyday better for each other.”