Fearing What “Could Be”
In July 2017 I started writing my first book.
Starting as a summary, a breakdown of events in my life. Only four weeks into writing, I had completed about 30 pages, and the outline for it was completed.
When I would write, then, and even now as I write this post, I move to being in a state of complete calm.
Nothing else in the world is going on. I don’t have problems, and if I do, they melt away.
Some call this state of mind…
Whatever you call it, I’ve never experienced it like this in any other activity in my life.
I continued writing my book for about four more weeks, but at a slower pace.
I noticed as I continued to write, my style and intent behind writing was shifting. It went from “𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭”, that in truth, felt like it was more about me, than the reader.
To… “𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘐 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳?”
When that shift occurred, I noticed a different tone in my writing. A tone that drifted from fact to an attempt to connect the experience to the readers’.
Then I stopped writing my book.
After writing for a couple of months, I got to a place where I stopped completely, and the reason I told myself..
“𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘶𝘱 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘢𝘴 𝘐’𝘮 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺.”
Other thoughts that were going through my head, that were a bit quieter than the reason I told myself.
“𝗜’𝗹𝗹 𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗿. 𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺𝘀”
“𝗜’𝗺 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗽𝗮𝘆 𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁”
At that point, and even today as I write this… I’ve not yet invested in..
A writing coach
Even though I had stopped my book, I’ve just kept writing on and off, just for the sheer joy of it.
What I find interesting, today, in comparison to two years ago, those same thoughts of never being a writer because I belong in corporate and because I’m untrained, well, don’t really cross my mind.
𝗜 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗺𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝗯
𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳𝗳 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀
𝗜’𝗺 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗮𝘆
In reflection, I find that when I told myself I was going to pause my book, reasons I kept putting it off completely were because I was telling myself…
“𝘞𝘦𝘭𝘭, 𝘪𝘧 𝘐’𝘮 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴, 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘤𝘬”
“𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘢𝘮 𝘐 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴?”
“𝘞𝘩𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴?”
Which is a bit freaking ridiculous, honestly. I’m essentially escalating an interest to an extreme. Did you catch that?
𝗜 𝘄𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸, 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗜 𝗲𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝘁…
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗺𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝗻𝗼𝘄!
What the hell is that?
It’s all or nothing thinking.
Thinking that means there is a risk of change, and throws the mind into a spin.
𝗦𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗿𝘂𝗽𝘁𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘀𝗶𝘀
𝗦𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗲.
And instead of thinking methodically about it, assessing options, priorities, and the like, my mind went on an imaginary rollercoaster. Up and down, left and right, upside down, and STOP.
The conclusion, “𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘬𝘺, 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘐’𝘮 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳.”
As I’m writing this now, I chuckle a little bit at my own expense.. Maybe I would have been better off asking myself a few questions like…
𝟭.𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗱𝗼 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲?
𝘈: 𝘉𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦!
𝘈: 𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘪𝘵!
𝟮.𝗜𝘀 𝗺𝘆 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗺𝘆 𝗷𝗼𝗯, 𝗼𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗮 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗿?
𝘈: 𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘦!
𝟯.𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗱𝗼 𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲?
𝘖𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 #1: 𝘘𝘶𝘪𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘫𝘰𝘣 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 (𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵)
𝘖𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 #2: 𝘋𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢 𝘧𝘦𝘸 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘢 𝘥𝘢𝘺, 𝘢 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬, 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘴, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘺 𝘫𝘰𝘣
𝘖𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 #3: 𝘗𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 “𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦” 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘮 “𝘴𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩”
Option #1 would work for some, but not me at that point.
Option #2 would have been the best option for me, had I thought of it.
Instead, because I didn’t stop long enough to consider that other options exist, I chose the option that came most readily available.
The option that typically comes most readily available, don’t do it all.
Notably, this was also the option that carried the least resistance, because it didn’t require any form of change.
𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 “𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒅” 𝒕𝒐 𝒌𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒔 𝒒𝒖𝒐.
Even though I rationalized why I made the “right decision”, that urge/desire/passion for writing was still there. I just kept shoving it down over and over, and said..
“𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺”
𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦, 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘴 “𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺”.
𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦, 𝘐 𝘱𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩.
𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦, 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘸𝘦𝘪𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘐 𝘨𝘰
𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗜 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲? 𝗪𝗵𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝘀? 𝗜 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁.
𝗔𝗺 𝗜 𝗴𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗽 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁? 𝗡𝗼𝘁 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲.