In the months since I resigned from my teaching position to “discover how I am meant to serve,” and write a book, I have done exactly zero in the area of writing. Actually, that’s not entirely true – I have journaled a bit, but nothing coherent, and definitely not anything I would want to include in a book that other people may read. What I have done, is make excuses.
June/July: We’re trying to sell our house, so my focus is on that – once we’re past that obstacle, I can get focused on actually writing.
July/August: We sold our house, so now I need to focus on finding a place to live. Once we’ve figured out the details of that, I’ll focus on writing.
August: Crap. There are no houses we are interested in buying. Where will we live? I don’t want to be tied into a lease for a year; what if we sign the lease and find our house two months later? This is way too stressful; there’s no way I can focus on writing right now.
September: Wouldn’t you know it, things worked out and we found a house to rent short term, we moved in, and we’re as settled as we plan to be here until we start the house hunt again in a month or two. What’s the excuse now?
What’s the excuse now?
The truth is that I could fairly easily come up with at least half a dozen excuses, but the reality is that they would all be just that. Excuses. Could I validate them? Absolutely – I’m a master at validating excuses. But as I went through my morning, I decided it was time to just stop with the excuses and either start the process, or quit pretending like I’m going to. To fish, or cut bait if you will. Shit or get off the pot. Propose or break up. Choose your preferred colloquialism, the bottom line is that I’m either going to start writing this thing, or I’m not; and either choice is fine, but a choice has got to be made.
The universe seemed to know I needed a gentle nudge (or a swift kick), because my morning guided meditation/journaling had to do with vulnerability; specifically why it’s so hard to be vulnerable; the obvious answer in my case being fear. Once I gave it a name, I spent some time sitting with that fear, and digging in to exactly what it is I’m afraid of, and I realized that the majority of my fear is judgement. What if I write my story, and nobody wants to read it? Or what if people do read it, and hate it? What if everything that I have set out to do turns out to be a waste of not only my own time, but that of all the people that have sacrificed to support me? So I decided to start with the very last words I wrote in my journal this morning:
PUBLISH THE POST
So here’s the elevator pitch: I am writing a creative nonfiction/memoir. It does not yet have a title, but it will basically be my story of personal growth from who I was as a child, becoming a teenage mother, escaping toxic relationships, getting my crap together and being a functional member of society, learning who I am and what I believe as an individual, and hopefully finally arriving at what gives my life meaning, and how I am meant to serve.
I have spent a lot of months stumbling over various combinations of these words in an attempt to convince other people that the idea of writing my story isn’t stupid, and you know what’s funny? For the most part, no one has even questioned it, so who am I trying to convince? What is or is not “stupid” is incredibly subjective, and as long as I think it’s an idea worth pursuing, nobody else’s opinion should even matter. So I’m doing this. I’m fishing. Shitting. Proposing. Whatever. And I hope my writing is well received, but if it’s not; that’ll be ok too.