It’s funny to me how I have thought about writing for years. I’ve had moments where I thought I had it and many more moments where I thought I would never be good enough and why even bother. I have had a support system of loved ones who, whenever they read something I had written, raved about it and told me I should go for it! I have also had other people in my life say other things… But none of those voices have been as strong as the one in my head saying “I’m not good enough”. I don’t think I have magically silenced that voice in my head… in fact, it took well over a year for me to actually put up a post on a blog site I created over two years ago; a year of lurking on blogs and over a month from the time I finally decided I could perhaps, maybe do this thing. The one thing I have learned from reading and following blogs this past year is that I am not really different from all the other writers out there, even the ones who are published. We all have that voice. The only difference is, they did it anyway.
I came across Chuck Wendig’s site a few months ago. He has some great writing advice and posts a flash fiction challenge every week that I plan on doing here. The most helpful thing I got from him was that writers write. I know, that sounds pretty simple and straightforward, but sometimes it takes a certain voice (style if you prefer) to actually penetrate the mind-numbing negativity of self doubt. His style spoke to me and pushed me out of lurking and into actually doing. I think the other thing I learned is that it isn’t about having a book published. That goal is far too big and if I know myself, which I’m pretty sure I do, I become paralyzed when a goal is too big.
A few years ago I decided to run a 5K with my sister. I had no idea what a 5K even was, so I looked it up and almost fainted. 3 MILES!?! Who does that? I don’t remember if it was my sister or some other phantom of unknown origins who told me to just do what you can and eventually, you will be able to run 3 miles. I finally decided to just start already. (That was another few months of torturous thoughts and self-doubt) I ran for as long as I could that first time and made it almost a mile, which surprised and excited me. I could do this! The next time, I don’t think I made it as far because I was sore and it hurt! Side note: It can be just as hard, maybe even harder, to stop that voice when running because it is pretty loud not just when you start your run or on days you don’t really want to run, but every step you take feels like a battle. It hurts! I need to stop! I can’t breathe! On and On and On!! But there is the other voice too saying just one more step! Just make it to the next street and you can stop! I like that voice better.
The point is, I kept doing it. I kept running as consistently as I could and lo and behold, I actually did it. I ran 3 miles and loved every minute of it! I was able to do a 5K with my sister that year and even beat her time! It helps me to think of writing like I am training to run a 5K. I am not going to write The Book today or tomorrow or next week. Not even! But I can write 350 words a day. I can do a little bit each day and before I know it, I might actually have a first draft of this book that has been haunting me for years! I have finally decided to get out of my own way and take the steps necessary to do it.
In the process, maybe I can also get out all the random madness that lurks in my head, which is why I have decided to post on the blog. I read another blog recently, thanks to Chuck’s site and all the writery types who comment and post. Pav (if I can call him that without him reaching through the screen to punch me in the face… In my own defense, it is how he refers to himself on his blog); Pav uses his blog to get out all the unnecessary stuff in his head so he has more clarity for his current project. I really liked that idea and plan on adopting it shamelessly!
To recap the goals in case you got lost along the way: Write 350 words (or more) each day on the current project and Post at least once a week on the blog.
I’m excited to start what I consider to be a journey. Many changes are happening in my life right now. I can either step aboard the change train or I can sit safely on the platform and end up kicking myself in a few years for the what-ifs.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have so far!