Finding the Santa Within

Word count: 274                        Reading time: 1 min.

By the time I was seven years old, my mother’s interest in being a homemaker and nurturer of children was fairly exhausted. When Christmas rolled around there was only one way I would see Santa Claus and that was if I took myself. So I boarded the bus to town, rode the escalator to the fourth floor of Eaton’s and whispered my secret wishes into the ear of a complete stranger.

I left Santa’s kingdom with free candy and an enormous sense of self-reliance. That early sense of assurance has helped me in and out of many situations since, but none less than my efforts as a writer.

Successful writing demands independent thought and a significant level of self confidence. In the words of Sylvia Plath: “Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

I jumped into creative writing with absolutely no training and a vague hope of entertaining family and friends. When I submitted my first short story to a competition in Australia and it received a Commended award, it inspired me to write more.

Since then I’ve tried to associate with positive-minded people. After all, as Vince Lombardi said, “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” I’m on that bus to see Santa Claus and no one is going to persuade me I shouldn’t be there. I’m independent enough to believe I belong and I’m grateful to have met encouraging people along the way.

What made you get on the bus? Does your self-reliance and confidence increase the more you write?

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Photo of Santa Ross by Greg Johnson