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May 7, 2017

Elephant Academy Killed my Dreams of Being a Famous Writer.

Attending the Elephant Academy program dashed my hopes of ever becoming a famous writer.

You’re probably wondering how I ever got an article published beginning with, “Elephant Academy dashed my hopes…”

Why would elephant journal publish such an unflattering portrayal of the Academy’s influence on a hopeful writer? Not a great marketing piece, especially since enrollment is open for the upcoming program beginning June 1st through August 31st.

Hear me out.

Our current Apprenticeship just ended on April 27th. It is my second Apprenticeship with elephant journal, and after eight months, I’m still thinking about the writing tools I haven’t mastered and all the resources for sound reporting I have yet to use. Implementing any of these skills without the elephant journal community’s hand on my back is daunting, but I am eager to try.

How—you might be wondering—did this dash my hopes of literary fame?

Full and vulnerable disclosure: There is a part of me, let’s call it my “magical thinking fairy-seeker,” who lives inside of me and searches for all sorts of possible remedies for the dissatisfaction, agitated boredom, and anxiety that lingers right below the surface of my psyche. Her job is to put my yearnings to rest, once and for all. She sprinkles her magic dust, showering me with a sense of complete and utter satisfaction. She is persistent and creative in her attempt to calm my soul searching and find the ultimate fix.

Do you know this part of yourself? Have you ever encountered your inner magical thinking fairy-seeker?

She has whispered to me, ever so seductively over the years that, “When you lose those ten pounds your life will be perfect.” or, “If you find the right partner you will be happy forever.” And most recently, “If you find your true passion your life will be fulfilled forever.”

I managed to brush most away, but this last little carrot dangled over my ever-questing soul was almost irresistible: “Being a famous writer is the final pinnacle of your holy mission.”

Now, I know magical thinking is, well, magical thinking.

I’m a recovering food addict and romance addict. The enchanting possibilities for a lifetime of satisfaction aren’t real, just like the “perfect body” cannot be attained and neither can
“happily ever after” with Prince Charming. But I’m not fresh off the turnip truck in terms of personal growth. I’m seasoned. I’ve been around a while. I actually believe that writing is my deep calling. The elephant journal Apprenticeship solidified this belief for me. Finding what resonates deeply and honoring that is one of the many benefits of the spiritual seeker’s journey.

I’ve arrived, finally.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ~ Mark Twain

Even though my hopes of being a famous writer now lay shattered at my feet, I loved the Apprenticeship for confirming my deeply held passion for writing.

This is the paradox revealed. While the Apprenticeship solidified my passion for writing, I stopped fantasizing about being famous or thinking that it would fill my life with bliss.

Writing takes work. There is no quick fix or magical thinking fairy-seeker to make it all happen for us. It is a discipline requiring continued commitment above and beyond our ego’s drive to be validated or seen.

There is writing and submitting, often rejection, then editing, editing again, and finally editing again. There are even times when, after all that refining, I start over from scratch.

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” ~ Thomas Mann

I may never be a famous New York Times bestselling author, but I still want to write. Every day. On occasion, my well-written articles will be accepted. Being of benefit, making a difference for someone and having a positive impact are the cherries on the top of an already yummy proverbial sundae.

Fame and fortune are not the driving force for me anymore. If fame and fortune do, by chance, come a knockin’, though, I will have tea ready. Just sayin’.

I don’t know what you might discover about yourself, your passions, or your life’s work through the Elephant Academy, but I do know something magical and unexpected will happen.

Just a bit of advice: Be prepared to have your hopes dashed and finally begin living the life you’ve desired most.

Application ready? You start June 1st.

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Author: Sally Bartolameolli
Image: Beks / Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell

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