Illustrations · Inspiration

If you can express your soul, the rest ceases to matter

I know I said my next post would be about ‘earning a living doing what you love’ but this is virtually the same thing.

I nicked this line from Hugh MacLeod: If you can express your soul, the rest ceases to matter.

Actually, I didn’t so much nick it, it hijacked me. I was sitting in bed this morning, minding my own business and re-reading Hugh’s book Evil Plans for the third time, when this line jumped out at me, whacked me over the head and said, ‘You need to write a blog post about this. THIS IS IMPORTANT!’

So that’s what I’m doing.

So many of us hide away what is deep inside of us. We cover up what we feel is ‘silly’. Or perhaps we were once told by someone else that it was stupid or rubbish or worthless or whatever [inset your own crummy term] and we vowed never again to express our true soul.

This is really sad.

I suspect that what’s deep in our soul is never bland. It’s never going to be a wishy-washy, melt-into-the-background kind of thing. Which is good, right? Well, yes and no.

If you put what is in your soul out there, some people are going to LOVE it.

But a lot of people will shrug their shoulders and go ‘huh?’ in a I-really-don’t-give-a-monkey’s-that-you-have-just-laid-your-soul-bare kind of way. (That hurts).

And some people will actually HATE it. They will despise your stuff. Which kind of means they despise a bit of you. And that’s scary.

No wonder most of us hide our stuff away and never show the world what’s really inside us.

So today I am going to show you what’s in my soul…

Deep in the depths of my soul I hide absurd doodles and snippets of random stories. These are the doodles and words I never show anyone. Because they are ‘silly’ and ‘ridiculous’ and ‘pointless’.

This is the kind of thing I mean:

When I was leaving a friend’s house one evening there was a cat lurking by my car with a menacing glint in its eye, so I did this doodle:

Killer Cat

I woke up one morning to find I had a full-blown ‘duvet situation’ on my hands; during the night my duvet had somehow levitated and turned itself sideways:

Duvet siutation

I was eating soup for lunch one day and wondered what the headlines would say if the bowl of soup ate me instead of the other way round (The mysterious case of the killer soup – people have been disappearing from across the land!’):

Killer soup

I was pondering my identity crisis one day:

Finding your name

I was feeling bored and a silly story about a fly popped into my head (NB: this story is in no way semi-autobiographical)….

Copy of Fuzz the fly

Fuzz the fly was bored.

He had been bored all day Monday, and all day Tuesday, and it was only 9.30am on Wednesday and he was already really, really bored.

“I am bored with doing ordinary things,’” he said to himself. “A fly like me needs to spread their wings. I am not cut out for humdrum things. I must delve into the EXTRAORDINARY!”

So he set off at a demented pace to find extraordinary things….”

Ahem. No prizes for guessing why I kept these doodles and stories hidden all these years.

Are they silly?

YES

Are they absurd?

YES

Are they ridiculous?

TOTALLY

I haven’t shown my soul to the world for precisely these reasons.

But there is another way of looking at this…because aren’t these pretty useful attributes to have if you want to be a children’s writer? (Funny you should mention it; that’s exactly what I want to be!)

Dr Seuss was ‘silly’, ‘absurd’ and ‘ridiculous’. Didn’t seem to hold him back, did it?

Which got me thinking: When you find the right outlet for your spark, expressing your soul suddenly won’t seem like such a bad idea.

In fact, it may well be one of the best ideas you’ve ever had! As Hugh said, “If you can express your soul, the rest ceases to matter.”

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22 thoughts on “If you can express your soul, the rest ceases to matter

  1. I LOVE it, Katherine!! I think it’s great that you have silly, absurd, ridiculous, FUN ideas – especially, as you say, if you want to be a children’s writer. More of the same, please! (and don’t worry about the people who don’t care or hate it – they’re not important) :-)

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    1. We could create a new reality if we ask ourselves different questions. Am I genius? Am I great? Am I creative? The answer will be YES, if we trust enough our wisdom. Thanks for sharing! It’s great:)

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  2. Yep, you sound like a writer to me : ) And I love the Fuzz the fly character and story concept. Genius! The duvet situation is pretty cool too — together with the killer soup story, you could have a whole series of Mundane Mysteries to write about!

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  3. I enjoyed your doodles – and I couldn’t help but think about the mayor’s son, JoJo, in Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who
    He didn’t want to disappoint his dad by not following the family tradition of being the Mayor,
    On the other hand, his ‘silly and absurd’ hobby saved everyone’s bacon…
    :)

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        1. My favourite Horton book is Horton Hatches The Egg – classic! BTW I am writing that post we talked about and want to mention your comment and what you do for a living but unless I am being exceptionally thick (does happen) I can’t see anything on your blog??

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          1. LOL! You’re not thick, because I do a myriad of things for a living – here’s the list:
            Chauffeur the elderly
            Build Websites/Databases for Small Business
            Computer Tutoring
            Small Business Support (promotional material designs, computer training, admin. support)
            Write website content and articles

            My current activities for future earnings are:
            Formatting the manuscripts of three of my books for self-publishing on Amazon
            Building the beds/landscaping area to be the Market Garden for my small community come 2014

            :)

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              1. A little bit of both – perhaps a fictional non-fiction category? I abhor following the rules….LOL

                My books would probably best fit under ‘inspirational, self-help or essay” categories – I blend stories and comments from a variety of sources to carry readers through different journeys –

                Inheritances is about Loss and Grief
                Stories is about how far positive thinking can or cannot take you
                Functional First, Pretty if Possible is a blend of How-To for transitioning to sustainability mixed with personal growth – –

                :) Even more confusing now, right? LOL

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  4. Fantabulous.. I believe there is such a word?! The cat is out of the bag, now you have to make it ‘sing with your soul’. As anyone who knows me would confirm, I’m not one for those type of sayings. But this weekend I had a similar experience with a lawn mower, cutting grass and the smell of a garden shed. Definitely hit something in my soul. Keep it up.

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