The pond is crowded.
Fish teem under the surface. Ducks float, their unseen feet frantically paddling. The water is alive with snails and frogs and mozzies, plants, weeds and tadpoles…algae, slime and microscopic life too miniscule to see.
This pond is too full, you think. Crammed! Claustrophobic!
And you’re right. Every pond is full.
There are thousands of painters. But there’s only one you, painting.
There are thousands of songwriters. But there’s only one you, composing.
There are thousands of authors. But there’s only one you, writing.
Or one me.
I learned this lesson when I finished my first novel, Sugar. For $19.95, I printed the draft at Officeworks, sat on our patio in the sunshine and read it. And with every page I realised: this came from me. It's mine.
Only I could have arranged these words in this order, described love in this way, placed this quotation from Jane Eyre beside that one from The Count of Monte Cristo, put this sonata in the hands of that teenage boy who is a cellist, made this girl run.
Only I could have built this book.
Not the thousands of writers. Only me.
That’s why there’s room for all of us to keep creating. Because yes, in every pursuit, there are thousands…millions even. But only one you. And only one me.
It’s time to celebrate yourself. (And start working.)