As, I say to my author clients "Write on!"
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Waxing poetic as I plummet
Mornings are my favorite. When I write, that is. What began as my first blog entry on April 5th has now become my most reliable practice of self-soothing. Mind you, I don’t always feel soothed to write some of the angsty things I have shared but getting it out of the old squirrel cage and onto “paper” is definitely therapeutic. Some of my overall darkest days have been those when I haven’t written. Hmmmm. Doctor, do we see a pattern here? Typically entire days don’t occur as dark. As I shared, Monday wasn’t so bright. Mostly I am “good” in the morning. I like hearing the birds, I love sitting on my bed in Flame with my Mac serving as a portable heater warming my lap in the brisk morning air. The dogs are outside playing. We still have this dirt thing but in the morning I am not so daunted. It’s just what is so. We have acres and acres of dirt and soot and the dogs will get coated with it and we will have piles of towels to wash with no laundry facility in site. Just don’t ask me about the dirt at the end of the day…
Mostly, mid-day’s are good too. The sun shines, or it rains or the wind blows – which I must say is still a bit disturbing and these delicate plexiglass windows in Flame don’t seem like they can stand too much in the way of excessive stress and strain so I batten down the hatches and ride it out. But days are good. It’s when I start getting tired at the end of the day or whenever my mind says is the end of the day. I began getting hoarse around 5:30pm last evening and still had two groups of fabulous authors to support. I could hear the flatness in my voice, feel the fatigue in my system and just wanted to go to bed. My peeps inspired me by their perseverance and commitment to their own writing so I had just enough gas to be with them on the calls. Coaching authors is like the proverbial “you can lead a horse to water…” I can’t make them write. Yet, write, they are. They are engaged, finding their own voices and expressions – and they are sticking with the process. It is remarkable. They are remarkable.
We all know how hard it is to stick with a goal that is outside the norm. Writing is like this for most people. For those that have been writing all your lives, bravo. Most of my peeps are, like me, late bloomer writers and aspiring authors. This takes something. And, we can map it on to any far reaching goal. My studly (and after seeing recent pictures) super duper smokin’ hot sister-in-law is a marathon runner. She wasn’t always this way (well, she was always hot, but not quite as studly…). As a youngster and into adulthood she trained as a dancer. Modern funky dance. She always worked out too. But at one point many many moons ago, I could kick her ass running. Hah! Never again could I do that. I stopped running and she lapped me long ago. Her first marathon was in 2009 and now she trains in rain, snow, sleet and hail and well below zero temperatures as she lives in the wilds of Wyoming with my brother and two nephews. Patricia has run marathons on the coast of California and in the woods of the wild West. She always finishes at the top. She blew her knee out last year and got back into training the moment she could (and probably a bit before the doctors would have approved…). Next up for her? A 100-mile run trail run. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s one-hundred-miles of running. One-hundred-miles in a row. Eeeeegads. That, I cannot even imagine. I will keep my numbers in word count only.
Yesterday, she emailed some photos recently shot for promotion (and submission to Title 9 Sports) and they are beyond amazing. Her 6-pack abs dare you to call her regular (ok, you younger generation, that is a reference to a commercial from the olden days…). Action shots with her jumping for joy on the boys’ trampoline, running or simply hanging out on her deck - all the while glowing gorgeously. I am quite proud of her. When that woman sets her mind to something, she does it. Plain and simple. No ifs, ands or buts.
So what is that level of dedication all about? Why do so many have dreams yet never live them? Why do we die with our music still inside us? Yes, I am actively in this exploration again... I resumed work on my re-write yesterday with the help of Ellen Moore, my dear friend and brilliant editor. First up: the introduction. I don’t want this book to merely be a new and improved version of Waiting for Jack. And, to address something here, many people have asked why re-write it at all. Because, I am ready to really stop waiting for Jack. Really, really, really this time! And this means letting go of “Jack” in all sizes, shapes and forms. Truth be told, I was still waiting – and I was still waiting for Jack. And, not just the metaphorical Jack but the real one. Still hoping on some hidden levels (and some not so hidden) that Jack was a ticket to a new level of life… And, don’t get me wrong. I love the man. He is truly a wonderful and inspiring human being. Now, I need to let go of all things Jack and make this break for me. And, for you too.
This book will be even more raw and real – and it will have a new sense of urgency. It can’t help that given my recent turn of events. Also, I was given the opportunity to work with a new publisher on this project – so what is a writer and an author coach to do other than say, “YES”? Nothing. We just say, yes. Yes to opportunity. Yes to the challenge. Yes to letting go of the past. Yes to reinvention. Yes to the future. Yes to the unknown. And, we may feel like puking much of the time. We may find ourselves doing anything but working on the project. We may wonder if we are up to the task. We may question everything. Again.
And, we bring all of that along for the ride. I am bringing all of it along for this ride. It’s so much easier to blog than to work on my book. And, yes, there is material in this blog that I can use in the book. But I have to trick myself and not think about that. So, shhhhh please. Don’t tell me that. I need to pretend I am just writing. Just writing what’s there to write. Not for anything other than to just write. Not for publication. Not for a book that wants to be my most important book yet. No, we wouldn’t want that kind of pressure on creativity. We just want to write for the self-expression. Write for the joy. Write for the fun. Cause, really, my morning blogging is all of that. So what happens when we create a goal and suddenly the fear shows up and the inspiration is nowhere to be found?
Well, we keep going anyway. And, yes, I have written a ton on commitment before. I believe its commitment that keeps us going. Patricia is committed to her running. I am committed to my writing. My clients make commitments to me and to their peers and that keeps them going. Commitment trumps all excuses. It doesn’t matter if you don’t “feel” like staying married today if you are committed. It doesn’t matter if I have to deal with dirty dogs, an overflowing shitter and an upside down life if I am committed to something. Yes, we need the initial inspiration. The passion is helpful. The vision is mighty. Your “burning why” is essential. A healthy support system is wonderful. All of these things are important contributing factors but when the chips are down, the mood is low, the wind is cold, the coffee is gone, the running shoes are muddy, the knee is blown out, the house burns down – all that is left is our commitment.
I have thrown my hat over the fence and said yes to my new publisher. I have committed to this endeavor. I will honor that commitment – and again, I will know myself as greater than I feel in this moment. That’s what really matters. It’s not so much what we produce, it’s how we experience ourselves after (and during) our honoring of a commitment made to ourselves. It’s helpful to make the commitment to others, as most of us get sloppy simply making commitments to ourselves. We let ourselves off the hook way to early and way to fast and then we don’t trust what comes out of our mouth. We then begin to believe the lie that we couldn’t do it anyway – or worse yet, we sell out on our dream. So making the commitment to someone else who will actually hold us to that commitment is the way to go. My publisher paid me money to honor my commitment. They invested in me. My commitment is my investment in myself.
To honor our commitments, we must walk through our own fire. It isn’t easy. It’s often scary. Patricia comes home with blisters on her blisters and missing toenails. And, she loves it. I can’t claim to have any blisters on my typing fingers although sometimes my wrists ache. I can tell you that it often feels painful. I am afraid. I am concerned. I am daunted to say the least. And, just like walking through the fire on March 26th, I will keep walking. I will work on staying in today. Staying in right now. I know that when I finish this blog, I will sit down with that introduction and work with it. And, knowing that, I am inclined to make this the longest blog known to man and may keep writing ad infintium in order to avoid sitting in front of that introduction. Seriously, the squirrel cage is loud. Screaming monkeys. Bullying banshees. Argumentative gargoyles. That’s how it seems. Silly, you say? How is it I might struggle with writing that and yet here on this blog I have typed 1581 words in less than an hour… That is the human (my human, and I would argue yours too) mechanism at work. That is why I wait. That is why we wait.
Now, please wish me luck. I am at the edge ready to leap into the morass. I am contemplating the potential fall. I am waxing poetic about the plummet. Now, I am diving in. arrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhh!
As, I say to my author clients "Write on!"
As, I say to my author clients "Write on!"