I watched The Voice last night.
The show is a little bit dramatic and staged. The iconic music legends begging the performers to let them be their coach was a little silly, but probably offers a different dynamic than how the show was conducted years ago when I used to watch it. After all, what wanna be superstar doesn’t want an actual superstar to beg them a little bit?
Despite Christina Aguilera’s and Blake Shelton’s on stage flirting, which I found a bit much, and Blake’s comments about Adam Levine and Pharrell William’s sexiness, the show intrigued me.
Well, let me clarify –the stories of the wanna be singer superstars intrigued me.
There was the guy who said he’d had all kinds of random jobs before finally deciding to pursue his art seriously.
The guy in the polka dot button down? He lives in a log cabin sans internet and television where he has no other choice but to be lazy or creative. And he chose to be creative.
That blonde woman who sang her heart out and said The Voice was her chance. Her opportunity to make it happen.
I was stunned. Even the few people who didn’t make it onto the show after their audition still impressed me.
Like the one guy with the great hat who had been there on season 9 only to be sent home, but was encouraged to work harder and come back.
He worked harder and he came back. That was impressive to me. His actions spoke volumes.
And his hard work paid off. He didn’t get a “4 chair turn around” which may have been a bit disappointing to him. After all, who in his position wouldn’t want all four of those chairs to swing around while you’re singing your heart out?
Yet I was especially in awe of his story. Because while everyone who gets up on the stage has to prove him or herself, he had to do more than that. He had to show up in season 9, experience rejection, go home and take the stars advice, and then come back again to wow them.
That, my friend, is perseverance. It’s dedication. Determination. Daring. It’s a willingness to not give up.
As the show wrapped up and I settled myself into bed, I had several thoughts all with the same theme running through my mind.
Am I that daring? Am I that dedicated? How many hours do I spend each day on my craft?
I spend eight hours a day at the day job. An hour on physical exercise. Many minutes each day are spent taking the dog out, telling her to get out of the kitchen, etc. as evidenced by the number of times I’ve said “Omar” and gotten up to redirect her in the last ten minutes alone.
Family, work, rest, all of those things are important and I have to prioritize them in my life.
But what about my craft? Am I devoting twenty hours a week at least to my writing? Is there a tenacity there that drives me? Do I have the fear to put myself out there and experience rejection so that I can try harder and come back stronger?
I decided the answer is: sometimes.
Sometimes I have the guts to share my writing with others and face potential rejection. Sometimes I give my writing all the attention it needs.
Sometimes I get an idea and I don’t let it go.
Sometimes I spend twenty hours a week on my craft.
And sometimes I don’t.
I haven’t written ten thousand words in a day since that one day last year. I haven’t submitted my work to a potential publisher in a really long time. I don’t spend twenty hours a week on my writing every week.
Occasionally life gets in the way. Life happens and we have to roll with it. There are times when I can’t do it all or even most of it.
But that isn’t all the time. And I’m not going to beat myself up over those times.
Instead I’m going to focus on the time I do have to dedicate to my craft. I’ll put the image of that guy with the great hat in the corner of my mind and emulate his level of determination. I’ll feed the drive and bask in the results. I’ll feed the drive and hold my head up high when rejection shows itself. I’ll feed the drive and dare myself to be bold.
I will write.
What about you? What will you do with your craft? Will you dare yourself to be bold? Will you face your fear of rejection with a coat of armor and a steely gaze?
I dare you too. And when you do, tell me all about it. Because we must fight this fight together.