I wrote a book once.
I mean, I’ve started writing around twenty books, but I convinced myself to not finish 95% of them. I used to be quite talented at convincing myself not to do something.
What if no one buys it?
What if people buy it and they don’t like it?
What if you read it in a year and do palm face because you’re embarrassed by what you said?
What if it has spelling errors? Or the wrong font? Or Or OR…
MAYBE YOU SHOULD JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU’RE FULLY ENLIGHTENED AND AWARE. THEN WRITE SOMETHING.
I had an epiphany one particularly depressed day, and decided to write an imperfect book instead of some organized one made from some formula I read in a how-to book. I mean, I wasn’t going to actively attempt to suck, but I gave myself the allowance for it to have poor grammar, or jump from topic to topic, or not have a clear focus, or be too deep sometimes and too sarcastic other times.
I named it “imperfect,” only read through and made tiny edits to the whole thing two times, and explained in the beginning of the book that, if people find spelling errors or redundancies, then that’s GOOD because that’s the whole fudging point.
Once I removed the pressure to write something profound or good or perfect, 65,000 words flowed out of me within four weeks.
I WROTE A WHOLE BOOK. IN FOUR WEEKS. And guess what? I liked it. I felt proud of it.
Then I moved forward with self-publishing, all the while the “MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T DO THIS BECAUSE YOU MIGHT FAIL” voice getting quieter. Because… I kept doing it.
I kept moving forward with the allowance to only sell 3 copies, all of which to my dog. With the allowance to print and order 100 copies, only to make book forts out of them and make pirate ship noises.
I ONLY FOCUSED ON THE VERY NEXT STEP.
As a result, I finished and published my first book ever.
And you know what the best thing about it is? Now that I’m doing this blog and working on my next books, that voice just… Isn’t there anymore. Or maybe I made a believer out of it and it’s one of the growing squad of cheerleaders in my head.
Like in the movie Hook when the cute little boy smooshes adult Peter’s voice around and is like, “Oh there you are, Peter!” and then the Lost Boys train him and then he thinks happy thoughts and FLIES and CROWS and all the Lost Boys believe in him and he defeats Captain Hook and saves his kids and the old man gets his marbles back and it’s just SUCH A GOOD MOVIE.
What were we talking about?
Oh yes. Thoughts and beliefs and inner voices.
Occasionally I’ll catch a thought that’s afraid I’ll LOSE followers over the next 350+ days of writing rather than GAIN followers. And then I’ll say to the thought, “So what if that happens? Is that the end of the world? No. I’m writing because I love writing, and because I know it’s part of my journey to do so. To share my truth, to connect with others, and to be vulnerable and honest and top it all off with doodles. I know this is what I’m meant to do, and there’s not a damn thing you can do or say to stop me.”
The thoughts clearly find that hard to argue with… Or they just know that I’m a master debater and was a lawyer in my past life, and it simply isn’t worth the effort.
HERE IS A LESSON THAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE:
Giving ourselves permission to be imperfect removes the shackles of expectations and allows one’s heart and mind to open.
Seriously, try it.
Here’s the last page of my book, if it helps for you to get a doodled permission slip.
^^^ Except you can’t rip it out. Cuz. Computer screen. So. PRINT IT OUT, if you want.
Alright. That’s it for today.