Saturday, February 17, 2007

Working on Changing "I Want to" to "I Will"

I am an expert at justification. I have a bachelor's degree in philosophy (no, really, I do) and can play devil's advocate with the best of them. Really want that new car? I can find a way to make it seem like the only thing that makes sense is to go out and get it. Thinking about breaking up with your boyfriend? Just give me a few facts and I'll convince you in moments. Of course, if he gets to me first, I just may find a few hundred logical reasons for him to hold on to you at all costs, so watch out!

I have never aspired to use these powers for evil. Not even when my then-boyfriend proposed to me on vacation in Maui and I desperately wanted us to get married there and then return to the mainland and announce it to our families. I had a gut feeling that I could have talked him in to eloping in the few short days we had remaining on the island, but I also knew that his mother would never ever in an infinite number of years forgive him for doing such a horrible thing. So I didn't exercise my will. (Part of me still wishes I had, and during the planning of the wedding, we both kicked ourselves multiple times for not eloping).

I have a natural affinity for excuses. It's not the prettiest part of my character, and I'm not proud of it, but it remains nonetheless. I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember, and over the past three years I have attended multiple writing workshops and classes, purchased a laptop solely for those endeavors, and started this blog. But I have also found numerous excuses not to launch myself into the writing stratosphere wholly. "I have young kids whose schedules are unpredictable and I am their primary caregiver. My husband suffers from a chronic unknown illness that strikes often and throws us into chaos. I can't find the time to sit and focus every single day. Just as soon as..."

In the meantime, I am watching friends and fellow bloggers like Michelle (http://www.michelleoneilwrites.blogspot.com/) and Jenny (http://www.jennyrough.com/) immerse themselves in their dreams and make their writing a priority. Jenny, that most courageous of all souls, quit her lucrative job as an attorney to become a freelance journalist and she has succeeded spectacularly. Michelle is writing a memoir that is certain to knock the socks off of everyone who reads it. Carrie Link (http://fully-caffeinated.blogspot.com/) has taken a job as an assistant to a phenomenal nonfiction author and is penning her own memoir as well. Why haven't I thrown myself into my writing wholeheartedly yet?

I have submitted short pieces for publication in online magazines and local parenting magazines. None have been accepted, but I can't say that it has devastated me. I have other ideas for series articles and have pitched them and gotten feedback that is encouraging. What is it that keeps me from making the leap? I have a terrific idea for a book and have gone so far as to conduct interviews for it, but I have yet to dedicate a daily chunk of my time or energy to moving any of these projects forward.

Next Thursday I am traveling to another workshop with a group of fantastic women whom I admire and respect. I am incredibly excited to be getting away and hope that I am able to find the spark that will put me over the edge. I know that I am the only person who can make this happen and I also know that I won't be fully satisfied until I make the effort 100%. I wish I could talk myself into just letting go...

5 comments:

Jenny Rough said...

Well I'm no philosopher, but I think it all depends on how you define success. You have been SO sucessful and brave in taking the steps you've taken. And not to make excuses :-) but I don't have kids!!

Oh, and if you could only see my list of rejections . . . take a guess then multiply it by 100s. Seriously, best of luck in the workshop and I look foward to seeing your work in books and mags - they WILL find the right home one day.

Whenever I get frustrated my husband reminds me to enjoy this time at the beginning of my career. Hard to do, but he's right, it's a precious time.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Thanks for the mention Ms. Kari!

Instead of worrying about what you have not done or why you have not done it, why not look ahead and imagine how good it will feel when you are in the zone, doing your heart's desire? Resistance is always fear. You needn't be afriad because you can't get it wrong. It doesn't have to be a specific way.
It is your life and you are creating it with every step and it is always expanding with infinate possibilities.

Have a blast at the workshop. You are fine. You are great! Be gentle with yourself!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Ditto Michelle and Jenny! Rule #1, love yourself. Rule #2, do what you love. Rule #3, there are no rules, you are the boss of your life!

Scott from Oregon said...

When I was about 13, this rough dude with a tattoo and a missing tooth in front took over the job of teaching me to be a goal keeper.

I was just a kid.

I wanted to be a good goal keeper, but I didn't want to be a good goal keeper at the same time.

That's what I learned from him.

OK.So what I learned wasn't clear....

I LEARNED that I only halfway wanted what I wanted.

He got me to take responsibility for that and then taught me three very efective words that have served me well in life...

ACT AS IF...

Hope that helps.

Jess said...

This sounds so familiar, I can't even tell you.... Thanks for posting it, and for sitting next to me all weekend (and Terry, of course).

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