I looked at the post I just wrote for Words Mean Stuff and said, “you know, this kind of applies to breaking into writing too…” So, here’s a challenge dear reader. Look at this post. Read it. And think about how it applies to us in the writing world. I can think of at least three or four ways, but I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment if you like.
Life as a new kid
In my part of the world, the new school year is less than 72 hours away. So, I’ve been thinking about the new-move-ins and my experience as the new guy…
Breaking in is hard
It’s hard. It is. Even moving into a new neighborhood in the same town can be a challenge. Things will be different. You might not get all the signals, or all the jokes. The relationship maps, group maps, and general way things work are different.
You’re going to have to learn a new way of doing things. You may need to shift your thinking.
Be willing to adapt
I’ve moved over the years, and watched other people move. The ones that have the hardest time are the ones that won’t adapt; the ones that want to make the new place just like the old place, even though the realities of the place are different. And sometimes even though they are fleeing the old place because of the way things were working.
If you’re new, take a little time to find out how things work, and why they work the way they do. A time to make changes may come, but understand what’s going on and why before you mess with things too much (there’s a reason there surfing isn’t a big sport in Idaho…).
We’re better off changing the way we do things than trying to change everyone else. We’re more able to make those choices and changes. We control ourselves, not the people around us. And we can decide which changes fit with who we really are.
Changing our ways and adapting can be hard. Successfully and productively changing others is even harder if we’re unwilling to do our own work.
But stay who you are…
But you don’t have to change everything. Who you are, who you really are, the powerful child of God with your own thoughts and opinions, shouldn’t be suppressed.
Yes, learn new things and learn how to operate in your new place. But don’t change who you are just because people tell you to. Never change who you are just because people tell you to. Genuine change has to come from within (the corollary is, don’t expect other people to change just because you tell them to…).
Adapt to your surroundings? Yes. Change who you are because the kid down the street says so? No. We are becoming better than we’ve been before, not serving the whims of others.
Never resist change stupidly. But don’t give up who you are (who you really are). Make purposeful choices in how and why you change, but never give up who you really are.
That’s it for this one, dear reader. I’ll see you next post.