Last year, my son bought The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. He thought it was a fantasy/adventure novel, but he was mistaken.
It's actually a parable. It's about seeking one's destiny, understanding the signs, omens, and fateful dreams the universe sends your way, and becoming aware of the world's interconnectivity.
I read it out of curiosity and a desire to connect with my son.
I struggled with it. I do not believe in its ideas. I don't pray, believe in manifestation, or read my horoscope.
But I wasn't always this way.
I used to be a romantic. I believed in dreams, ghosts, and destinies, but over the years, I closed myself off to them. Logic and reasoning started to prevail.
But the book stuck in my head. It made me wonder if I had put up too many walls, closed too many doors, and lost my sense of wonder and possibility.
So after journalling and soul-searching, I decided to open that door in my heart just a little to see what would happen.
For many months, it was quiet. I worked, I struggled, I felt overwhelmed.
But then the new year began.
There's a Greek tradition to bake a cake for New Year's Day, put a coin in it, and whoever gets it in their slice receives good fortune for the year. I'm not Greek, but my wife is, so we embrace the tradition.
This year, I got the coin.
I also had my fiftieth birthday in March, and I'd been looking forward to it for a while. I didn't know why but I figured I'd finally hit my stride. The pieces of my life would start falling into place.
I jokingly called it The Year of Dave.
But something else started to happen.
I tried to be more open to possibilities. I tried to be more hopeful. I tried to embrace what the universe sent my way.
Things started happening. People came out of the woodwork to hire me as a writing coach. I'd been asked to read people's novels. I was contacted to do work I usually wouldn't have considered doing. Opportunities appeared.
I've been grateful for it all.
None of this has changed me. I still return to my logical comfort zone and haven't started believing in manifestation or any of that.
But I believe an open mindset has helped my mental and emotional health and my relationship with the world.
And even if it is all dumb luck and a privileged position, or it will be all gone tomorrow, I still want to embrace the possibility. Because being open to what the universe has to offer still seems to be a kinder, more loving way to live.
I've been busy with writing and work this month, which always affects my reading. I struggled through Rick Rubin's The Creative Act: A Way of Being, which I was okay with until suddenly I wasn't and could reengage with it. I was pleasantly surprised by James Patterson by James Patterson. Lastly, I'd like to shout out Pome by Matthew Ogle, which sends you a modern short poem to your inbox daily.
I've revisited Sunshine and Steve Jobs (courtesy of Blank Check). I found The Mandalorian's finale better than most of its season 3. I'm happy about the return of The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel, but I will be sad to say goodbye. And I want to give a quick shoutout to Game Changer on Dropout, which is a lot of silly fun my kids and I enjoy.
I've had Craft on my iPad for a long time but never used it. After a work opportunity, I started using it and was delighted. (I used it to write the first draft of this newsletter). The best bits are collaboration, import/export of Markdown, and its outstanding AI Assistant.
I've also been using WriterDuet for scriptwriting. I still find it clunky, but in terms of collaboration and formatting, it's the one I've had to fight with the least. One caveat, I prefer to use it in a web browser than its iPad app. Having to re-sign in every time I leave gets very frustrating.
What are you contributing?
Because we're all contributing something. Even the couch potato, believe it or not. And our contribution goes far beyond what we do…it goes deep into who we are as we're doing what we do.
— Gabe Anderson
Thank you for reading
That's it for this month. If you liked this newsletter and want more, visit my daily blog.
I also help others with their writing. If you're interested in this, check out my coaching.
David Gane Newsletter
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