Have you ever tried to do a “thing” but heard so many discouraging messages that it took all the wind out of you, so that when some people do encourage you, you can’t even hear it?
It’s a long and clumsy question but I don’t feel a need to be sharp right now. In any case, does it sound familiar at all?
You see, I have this crazy idea.
I want to write a book.
I’ve never planned to write a book. But since I’ve started writing a blog, this wild idea sort of sneaked up on me. It wasn’t a conscious decision but things happened in the past 1-1/2 years (or maybe it’s been the past 39 years) that pushed me to this point: I’m writing, I found my voice, I know what I like to write about, my father got sick and died, it has shaken me and I went to therapy, I discovered more and more components about myself, my family, my history, I’m continually growing and resolving issues, I know what story I want to tell… And here I am today with 19,000 words of mostly raw material, barely a first draft for what is wanting to be born and become a book, and a 2,500 words essay that I planned to send to a magazine to be published, and then, I stopped everything.
I have a self doubts outbreak.
I’m not a writer, I never learned how to write, I couldn’t stand literature class in high school and analyzing “what had the author meant to say?”, I continually question myself; Am I any good… And everyone says that it’s a hard to make a living as a writer (OK, I don’t care about last one.)
But this “thing” is stronger than me. It’s like having a baby in your belly and hearing the nurse say “It’s time to push” but you’re not mentally ready to push and give birth because your life will completely change a split of a second after the push. Hmm, I have actually done that the first time I gave birth, but more about this little anecdote some other time. Bottom line, I can assure you, and it’s scientifically supported, you cannot keep the baby inside or send it back to the manufacturer. There is absolutely no way back once your lying flat on your back in a hospital, legs wide open, and the baby’s head poking out. There’s only one possible scenario from this point on. You’re going to become a mother.
But would it be the same with this writing a book craziness?
The situation is like this: there’s an abundance of self doubt versus a book that wants to be born and its head has already crowned (Is that the right term? I’ve deleted from my memory all this information). In the middle, of course, there are a few people involved. And that’s not always a good thing. For example, when you’re about to have a baby, do you want people tell to you any of the following sentences,or give you the feeling that:
You’re not motherly/a good mother
So many people have done this before you. What makes you so special? How will you do a better job? We’ve heard this story already
It will cost you $-$$$$$$
Don’t do it like this, do it like that/this is the way it should be done
I’ll help you… and then they disappear and you never hear back from them
I’ll send you something… and they never do
E-mail me… and they never reply to your e-mail
or, 80% of the population say they want to have a baby/write a book/start a business/get a degree/eat better/exercise/go to bed early/______ (fill in the blank), but they never do
Bla bla bla
So much noise.
There are the people who really love you and support you but at that point you are so discouraged and full of self doubts you no longer hear, or take too seriously, their kind words: “I believe in you”, “I think you’re talented”, “Keep going! You have to do this”, “I love your work”, “What you wrote helped me”… or their silent actions like making dinner or watching the kids so you’ll have more time to do your “thing”. I love these people.
And of course, there are plenty of people who would say that it doesn’t matter what other people say, negative or positive, it needs to emerge from within yourself.
We don’t live in a bubble and we are affected by other people’s words and actions. Don’t we?!
Most of the times when this happens, I find that if I shut all the noise off, I can hear the little voice inside me. At first, it’s tiny, squeaky, and weak because I’ve neglected it for so long, I haven’t listened to it, I ignored it, I haven’t fed it, but after a while, it gets stronger and confident-eerrr and it leads me back to the right path. You might call it an instinct, intuition, sixth sense, whatever, but I found out that each time I shush the outside and connect with my inner self, that little wise voice that knows me so well also knows what’s good for me, and when I do listen to it, I make the good-for-me/right choices.
Like with having a baby, or anything else that you want or dream about doing, you have people around that help and support you, but you are the only one who can push the baby out, and only you know how, and when, and why you do it. No nurse, or partner, doula, doctor, or computerized monitor screen, no coach, teacher, trainer will help you more than you can help yourself and your baby, or book, or“thing”. No one knows better than you.
I hope I don’t sound angry because, really, I am not. Well… maybe I am a tiny bit angry, but only at myself, because I should listen better. To my little voice.
Does any of this chatter on my part sound familiar to you at all?
(Hmm, this has turned out to be more than a bite size…)
Categories : Bite size