Astonishing By Way of Ordinary

Pink Think: “There are no astonishing ways of doing astonishing things. All astonishing things are done by ordinary materials.” – Benjamin Haydon

Photo of ‘diamond in the rough’ from

When I first started writing fiction, I thought my stories were the cat’s meow. That is, until I met other writers and read their work at conferences. And got feedback on my work. I realized I had a long way to go. Still do.

Recently, I unearthed an earlier version of a novel manuscript. It needed a lot of polish. But I had to start somewhere.

Early on, I never thought I could finish a novel. Now I have written three (or four if you count a memoir). I also never thought I’d be writing short stories. Here’s a horror short story I recently wrote when I saw the phrase Roadkill on Grill on a writer’s forum.

Over the last few months, I have gone from karaoke junkie to rock band singer. The other day, I unearthed my earliest recording, taken when I “auditioned”. Omigosh. I’m not exactly a shoo-in for the rock and roll hall of fame currently, but I have come a long way from that first CD.

I was so proud of myself yesterday, playing for my mom and dad a CD recording of a song I wrote and performed with my band. Hey, I’m a songwriter now!

My dad’s comment: “You’re just an ordinary singer.”

It was like the years fell away and I was a twelve year old again, wanting my dad’s approval. For my singing. For my writing. And I realized that regardless, I will never be good enough for him.

How do I go on from here? I remind myself that I am improving with every practice, with every performance. Okay, so I’m ordinary; I can still bring joy to others through music and writing. They can only both get better with time and practice. Maybe even hit some astonishing highs if I am lucky.

I hear that diamonds come from coal.

How do YOU get past the naysayers?