Giddy Up

Things got so crazy, in fact, that I saved that draft about 2010 sometime around January 2011, and then didn't come back here until June 2012.

I have no excuses except that I'm lazy and ... well, that's about it.

In any case, since I "started" this blog back in 2010, I've been saying that I'd publish it (read, let my friends/family know it existed, thus giving people the opportunity to come by and read my most personal thoughts and feelings, thus opening myself up to criticisms and humiliation, thus realizing my worst fear, which is that I actually suck at writing and should not be doing this as a profession).

I've also been saying I want to write a book. I'll write when I get home from work, I tell myself each day. I'll write in my journal before I go to bed. 

But then I get home from work and it's 6:30pm and I want to work out. (Read: I have to work out, lest my husband wants to hear my latest diatribe of self-loathing.) Then I get home from the gym, we eat dinner, relax a bit and before I know it, it's 10:30pm and I'm too tired to write anything. Then I lay in bed and think about how I don't want to go to work the next day, and decide I'll quit the corporate world and freelance for a living. Then the alarm clock goes off and I decide I'll go back to work after all, but not before declaring that I'll start writing when I have babies and can be a stay-at-home mom and stay-at-home writer.

See what's happening here? I finally did.

One of my best friends' dad literally asks me every time I see him if I've started writing my book yet. And I never have a solid excuse to give him.

Because that's what it ultimately comes down to - excuses. I've always said that I want to write a memoir but then I think, "Who cares about me?" And then my friends reassure me that I have some of the craziest, funniest stories ever and those alone will make people care about me (I have great friends). It doesn't matter that I'm not yet 30 - age doesn't define experiences and I've had some of those, ranging from amazing to downright shitty.

I just got done listening to one of my favorite authors, Jen Lancaster, read her new book "Jeneration X" on audio as I drove back to Iowa for the hundredth time this year (more on that another time). A fellow Chicagoan, she writes memoirs and just started to move into fiction. Bitch is hilarious. (She calls herself a bitch, so that's why I just did. I'm a follower, OK?) What's more, she has great stories. And those that aren't as great of stories, she still makes entertaining. Ultimately, I think she's awesome and can only hope to be as successful as she is one day.

So I went to her website, thinking I wanted to reach out to Jen and get some words of wisdom. "How can I be great like you?" I wanted to ask. Here's what I found:

"I love hearing from you!  I read and enjoy all your emails but with my current commitments, I'm sorry I can't personally respond to each one. 

As I read your notes, I notice a lot of the same questions, so following please find answers to your FAQs. 

Do you have advice for someone who hopes to be a writer?

If you want to be a writer, write. There's no secret formula or hidden cheat. Just write.  Write all the time, not because you have to, but because your world simply won't make sense if you don't. Take classes, join writing groups, do everything possible to hone your skills, READ, READ, READ, and don't worry about the business end of things. I get so many notes from people all panicked about the state of publishing and finding agents and formatting proposals when they've yet to get their words on paper. Becoming published has nothing to do with number of Twitter followers or website hits or networking and everything to do with turning out the best possible work you can. (P.S. If you go around saying you'd love to write but you can't find the time, then you're not ready to be a writer.)  (P.P.S. READ. Writers are readers, period.)"

It was that second to last line that hit me: "If you go around saying you'd love to write but you can't find the time, then you're not ready to be a writer."

How's that for a reality check?

So here I am. I immediately came to my blog, despite the huge long to-do list I have at work today, and wanted to get these words down.

If I've learned anything it's that tomorrow isn't guaranteed. What am I waiting for? The truth is, I'm scared. I want to be funny and witty and smart and successful and I want people to think I'm great. I think I'm probably trying too hard and I'm being naive to think that everyone will feel that way about me. But you know what? If I continue to be honest with myself, I know that I'm a great writer. I don't need my boss or a client or even a fan, friend or foe to tell me otherwise. I need to stop thinking and just write.

I have stories. I make mistakes. I have a hilarious group of friends and a dysfunctional yet amazing family. I have a husband and a dog. I work with great people. All of these things add to up stories to tell, which is all I want to do, whether they're hilarious or downright depressing. 

So, welcome to my awakening. Today is the day I stop making excuses. Today is the day I start REALLY pursuing my dream of being a writer and a damn good one, too. I hope you're all ready to join me for the ride.

Giddy up.

PS - Please don't read anything I wrote before this post. There's a reason I didn't publish it.



4 comments:

  1. Love this! I am with you all the way sister!! XOXO

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  2. Woo Hoo!!!!! I'm so excited for this!! You are an amazing author with many great stories to share! Can't wait to keep reading!! - Kelsi
    Still trying to figure out how to properly follow you :)

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  3. Jen is right. I wanted to be published ALL of my life. After my son passed away I kept a personal journal that a friend gave me. One day, I decided to copy my handwritten journal to the web and a month later I was contacted by an Editor who asked if I would be interested in getting published with a group of other writers. Six months later, I was published and now I am on Amazon. I have been approached numerous times and asked if I am interested in writing more but I have "passed" that point in my life (I wrote about the passing of my son at birth). But know that many people read blogs and look for a certain something!! :) Good luck to you and follow your passion!

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  4. Thank you for posting this. I can relate to nearly everything you said, save for the writing part--I'm a visual artist. But, it all still applies. It really is a daily struggle. Good for you, for sticking with it.

    Cheers,
    Amy

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