Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks? The older I get the more I realise how little I know, but I also realise that the potential for growth is exponential. I believe that no matter where you come from there is that indefatigable quality that we all have that wants better. There’s a fine balance of course between content and discontent. But then discontent fed from the desire to better yourself can’t be a bad thing, right?
As a child I never learnt to ride a bike or swim. Do you know how annoying it is when someone chirps, “It’s so easy. It’s just like riding a bike?” when you don’t know how to ride a bike. But I didn’t let that deter me when I made the decision to learn how to ride. But, I didn’t realise how hard it would be to find someone who teaches adults to bike ride. I finally found someone 2 months ago and it has been such a liberating experience. By the end of the lesson I was riding on my own (but only in a straight line!). So of course, as any lady who likes to shop would do, I went bike shopping. It took me a couple of weeks to find one that I was comfortable with and then I started bugging my friends to go riding with me. Finally my friend Kemi agreed to take me to a park near her house. I was so proud unloading that bike from my car boot. I proudly put on my helmet and my gloves. And then I mounted the bike. Disaster!
The stupid bike kept on turning to the right and into the trees! What! I couldn’t believe it. Suffice it to say I spent that morning walking my brand new mint green bike, still wearing my gloves and helmet and receiving compliments from strangers on my beautiful bike! I didn’t give up though. The beauty about learning new things in your 30s and 40s and even beyond, is that you don’t really care that much about what people think. I declared July/August 2015, the Summer of Daniella, so not only am I continuing my riding lessons (I actually learnt how to turn yesterday! Yay!), I am also learning how to swim and am having a fabulous time with it.
So what does that mean in the writing context? I guess I really want to encourage anyone who has had knock backs in their writing careers not to give up. I’m not published but in the years since I attended my first ACFW conference I’ve learnt that if you keep on writing, keep on reading and keep on learning you’ll keep on improving and one day you’ll get that illusive contract. I think rejection is part of the process of improvement, if you don’t give up. So today I tell myself that I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. I can ride a bike, I can swim, I can write!
What do you wish you’d learnt as a child? What unfulfilled dreams do you have? What could you start to do today to get you one step closer to unlocking all that beautiful potential in you?
Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Senior Technical Author and Software Trainer. She is working on a new manuscript about relationships and is trusting God for connections leading to publication.