Parents are known for their one-liners, and mine were no exception. “Do it once, do it right, then forget about it.” Wise words imprinted on my heart as my military father explained how to mop the kitchen floor.
Now, with four children of my own, I’ve discovered there are a few one-liners I’ve batted around long enough to stick with my four kids as well. My personal favorite?
Throw your spaghetti!
I use this saying to encourage family and friends to knock on every door in their path, and walk through and follow-thru when that door opens.
This saying originates from the traditional Italian way of testing pasta. The cook throws a handful of spaghetti noodles against the wall and if a few strands stick the pasta’s ready. If the noodles fall to the ground—the pasta remains in the boiling water.
Here are a few life examples of what “Throw Your Spaghetti” looks like:
While attending a writer’s conference, I was surrounded by hundreds of wannabee-authors like myself who dreamed of a coveted publishing contract. When I had the chance to talk with some of them, I was amazed by their talent, awed by their creative ideas, and immediately anxious about ever being good enough.
One of those gifted writers spoke with me, “I just got back my edited manuscript. It’s full of red ink. The editor suggested I talk with another publisher.” She moped.
“So, what are you waiting for? There are lots of publishers here you could talk to.” I reminded her.
“I don’t know. I really had hoped this editor would want it for her publishing house. I’m thinking it’s not meant to be for me.” She mumbled.
“Are you kidding? You have a gift, and you’re going to let a rejection from one publisher hold you back from your dream? C’mon get out there and meet with everyone you can. Throw your spaghetti!”
My college-aged daughter called to share, “Mom, I just found out about another college that offers a fellowship for creative writing. But, the problem is, I’m not sure if I should stick to my number one school choice in Iowa, or try for this one too?”
“Honey, there are no guarantees you’ll get into your first choice, so I’d apply for both. Throw your spaghetti!”
I’d flown cross-country to attend a women’s conference in the hopes of sharing my book idea with a few publishing houses. By divine miracle, my late registration didn’t hold me back from appointments with publishers.
I called my husband to share my progress. “Paul, I just met with a gal who taught a workshop about pitching my book idea. She said what I have isn’t good enough for a book.”
“I’m sorry, who told you? Did God tell you that?” Sarcasm oozed over every syllable.
“No, God did not tell me that!” Irritation got the best of me.
“Well then, I suggest you keep your appointments with the publishers and pitch your book idea. Throw your spaghetti!”
He was right. I kept both of my appointments. Each publisher gave me the green light to send in my full book proposal. Months later, those same publishers emailed rejections. But, I did what I do best—I threw my spaghetti and submitted my work over and over again.
What manuscript have you buried for lack of follow-thru? What gift have you ignored because you believe you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough? Start working on your follow-thru, and perseverance, and throw your spaghetti.
Oh, and that book idea I was telling you about? You can find it on Amazon.