I was going to talk about some advice I gave to a friend of mine. I wrote him an email and even as I was composing it, I was thinking I should add this to my blog because a lot of people might find it handy.

He’s in film and media, completely different field but the marketing challenges are the same. Yesterday I sat down with him and helped him develop a brochure to market his skills to the schools. And he told me I should be a coach.

Below is my reply:

I could never be a coach.

 When I first started writing I just felt that the possibilities were limitless!

 I thought what do all those big name authors have that I don’t? Nothing! Their stories all come from imagination, and I have imagination too!

 Sometimes we don’t imagine big enough for ourselves, but that has never been a problem for me, masha Allah.

 I think you need to imagine bigger for yourself.

 You should believe in yourself. Masha Allah you are very talented. I couldn’t do the things you do.

 And when I first started out I came across so many individuals who were more talented than me or just as talented, but who got too dejected from the rejections. I would try to encourage them, I tried to make them see in themselves what I saw in them, and in the end it didn’t work. They gave up.

 And as a result I realized that, initially at least, in this field, perseverance is more important than talent. Talent is what will distinguish itself later, it will set you apart from the run of the mill, but initially without that perseverance factor, you’ll never get to the point where the talent can really shine.

 You’ve just caught some bad breaks. But you’ve always shown perseverance to me.

 And that’s probably the main reason I bothered helping you with this.

 I can’t be a cheerleader. It takes too much energy and I’ve only got a limited amount for my own work. I can help guide, I can encourage and try to point you in what I think is the right direction, the rest has to be up to you.

 That rejection, that difficulty we go through is necessary because without it, we wouldn’t be compelled to pull out the best art from ourselves.

 I know it’s hard right now, but sabr. (patience)

 Make your intention, put your trust in Allah t’ala, and if He wills He will open the doors for you.

 Well that was my advice to him, and I stand by it.

And despite all the bumps in the road (just got a couple more today!) I wouldn’t exchange this field for anything.

I love what I do and I’m lucky enough to make a living at it!

And today, coming home from taraweeh prayer, listening to the melodious voice of the qari from Libya, one of two who had specially arrived to recite the Quran in the extra prayers after the last prayer of the day, prostrating myself along with so many other women and men, coming out of our homes to be together to worship God after a day of depriving ourselves from food and drink for his sake makes me feel so peaceful.

It was a day that was hard for me, because I had to to take my son for some back-to-school shopping. It didn’t help that the mall we went to, Scarborough Town Centre, was near a Dad’s cookies factory, and you could tell they were baking a batch.

The air was permeated with the heavenly smell! It made your mouth water if you let it!

It’s depressing enough to visit Walmart, but doing so when you don’t have much energy and after you’ve just passed a gauntlet of cookie smells…well it was not fun.

But all that’s behind me, and I’m feeling renewed, overjoyed, and so *good*.

And ready to face tomorrow’s fast.