liberating lessons

April 7, 2008

I’ve had to do some things at work lately that are out of my comfort zone—mainly talking on the phone to strangers, learn the legal lingo of permissions and rights and license agreements, and keep within a corporate budget. These are things my editors do on a daily basis—yet I’ve gotten by for thirteen months without having to worry about any of it.

All of it is turning out less scary than I thought, of course—Marcia from the largest news organization in the world (AP) asked me how the weather was in Minnesota in her Brooklyn accent and expressed sympathy at my report of morning snow. I heard music playing somewhere in the background—probably in her cubicle. I asked Ashley in Chicago a billion questions about licensing and exclusivity without tripping over my words as soon as she expressed disorientation due to it being a Friday afternoon. These people are normal! I thought. It’s not like I’m being tried in court. If I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, these people are the right people to ask—they’re there for the asking.

In the midst of these feelings of incompetence, I came across this, attributed to Madeleine L’Engle:

“Slowly I have realized that I do not have to be qualified to do what I am asked to do, that I just have to go ahead and do it, even if I can’t do it as well as I think it ought to be done. This is one of the most liberating lessons of my life.”

I think this applies to both vocational and mercenary jobs. I have to go ahead and DO this stuff as part of my job. When I think of my writing, I have to go ahead and DO that too, “even if I can’t do it as well as I think it ought to be done…”

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2 Responses to “liberating lessons”

  1. Papster said

    Excellent. By the way, new things don’t get much easier when one gets older, except there is a larger pool of experience from which to draw (sometimes) and one doesn’t worry so much about what others will think/say (sometimes).

  2. Sarah Ecob said

    Hey, I am just a random person who found your blog link through another blog…these words were encouraging to me this morning – me who can’t write but is trying to learn and me to can’t do my job nearly as well as I’d like…*sigh* I guess it’s the story for most of us. Anyways I just wanted to let you know….thanks. Sarah :)

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