It's a wonderful, big fishie meet little fishie world out there. And all us new little fishies need to remember three things if we don't want to get eaten:
1. Pay attention when the bigger fishies talk.
Why do you think a Granddaddy Catfish lives in the pond so long? Because he took the lessons of other catfish before him and paid attention to what they had to say. I need to do my own research, seeking out the wisdom of those who have traveled the path before me. Gather those like-minded fishies around me so that we all might encourage each other in this big old writing pond we are all swimming in.
2. Practice your shark roar daily.
Don Knotts once played a cartoon fish character in the movie, The Incredible Mr. Limpett. I LOVE that movie. Don Knotts' character falls into the water and the humans think he drowned. But he magically turns into this cartoon fish who has grand adventures despite his timid nature. Surrounded by sharks, torpedoes, and bigger fish, he has to learn to have confidence in his ability to survive in his new environment. One day he surprises himself, and everyone else, by emitting a huge ROAR that eventually helps the Navy win a battle. As a new little fishie in this big writing pond, I need to practice my own "shark roar" daily. A roar of confidence to remind me that I CAN do this, that I CAN be a successful children's book author as long as I continue to practice my writing skills daily.
3. Just keep swimming.
Dorie from Finding Nemo had it right. No matter what, just keep swimming. That poor, little fish had many obstacles placed in front of her but she never gave up. At my TKD school, we call that perseverance. Old cowboys would call it true grit. Whatever you want to call it, we all know what it feels like to keep running into those walls...rejection letters, harsh critiques, writer's block...what ever it may be...and that's when life culls the tetras from the sharks. Dorie never listened to anyone who wanted to bring her down by telling her she wasn't good enough. Dorie didn't stop believing when she was told she didn't know how to speak "whale". Despite all the obstacles set before her, Dorie knew just what she had to do and she simply did it...she kept on swimming until she was successful...until her personal goal was reached and Nemo was found.
What else could be asked of us but to not give up on ourselves? I might be a new, little fishie now in a great big pond, but if I pay attention to the other fishies when they talk, practice daily my own shark roar, and just keep swimming, then one day I'll be able to look over my shoulder at other little fishies looking up at ME with the same look of wonder as I have now and there is one thing I will be sure to tell them...
Swim, little fishies, swim.