“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your wild and precious life?”
I just sent an email to an author, gushing with excitement and praise for her book I just finished. I don’t usually do that. As a matter of fact, she is the only author I have ever written to. Well, that isn’t exactly true. I wrote to Julia Cameron and Danielle LaPorte, and was absolutely beside myself when I received personal responses from their private assistants.
The lady writing back to me for Danielle LaPorte referred to herself as part of “Team Danielle” but I still count that as being her personal assistant. They each, in turn, kindly and respectfully refused my request to contribute to my blog site as a guest writer, (“Thank you so much for contacting “us” but I am afraid Julia/Danielle doesn’t do that any longer” – they’ve gotten too famous I guess) But that didn’t matter to me one bit. It was like getting an autograph from a rock star, which also of course means nothing unless you keep it for decades, in pristine shape, and eventually sell it to Pawn Stars.
The email I wrote today was to Julia Heaberlin. She has written three masterful, suspense/ mystery/ thriller books that I loved! You know the kind where you just want the rest of the world to go away until you sadly turn the last page, find out who did it, and wish you could start the book all over again anyway.
Last year, after reading, “Black-Eyed Susans” I felt compelled to tell her how much I enjoyed it. Which, as I mentioned above is very out of character. I wrote, fully expecting a similar response to the ones I received from Julia Cameron and Danielle LaPorte’s team, “Thanks so much, I will tell Julia you liked her book. Sincerely, Representative So and So.
But instead, the most astounding thing happened. She wrote back. In person, no less. No team anything, just Julia. And she thanked me for taking the time to let her know I enjoyed it. We exchanged one more email a piece after that and guess what? I felt so special I told all my friends and family about it. I was this close to walking around in a sandwich board, handing out flyers, that said “read Julia Heaberlin’s books! They are awesome and so is she”.
I was an instant fan. I searched amazon titles for her other books, read her author page and then went to her website.
There, she has a page with the heart breaking, honest and heartwarming story of becoming a published author. (She tells it so much better than I can, or should, since it is her story, you really need to read it for yourself. Here is a link: http://juliaheaberlin.com/my-journalism/my-path-into-the-publishing-jungle/)
I guess it is always that way when we decide to go for something that lights us up. For the last year, I have been working on a program which launches in January. It has taken a lot out of me. Many things had to go on the back burner (even wedding planning). I am wildly excited about it, which is why I am pouring so much time, heart and energy into it. I believe it will totally transform lives. Still, it has had me crying over technical issues or deadlines; overwhelmed by the planning required to host writing retreats and often just feeling brain dead to create material that is what it is I want to convey in an understandable, doable way.
Then I saw the quote above from Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer prize winning poet. IT IS a wild and precious life, your life and mine. And, as she points out, it is our ONE wild and precious life.
So, at the most fatiguing point of the day, when there were things it became obvious I would not be able to do, and the frustration was setting in, I went to the mirror and asked:
What are your going to do with your one wild and precious life?