Well, here it is. The gauntlet has been thrown down. I have to decide. No more second guessing, no more making up excuses to not do what I want to do. No more being a scared little baby. I’ve reached Part 5, the final section of the book:
How To Kick Some Ass
The Almighty Decision: I need to decide what it is I actually want and decide to make it happen, no matter what inner voices or outer influences try to talk me out of it, I have to decide. I can’t hesitate.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.W.H. Murray
For years I have been hesitant, I’ve pulled back, I’ve been ineffective in nearly everything that I’ve personally dreamed of doing. I was young when I started dreaming of being a writer. It was certainly a romantic fantasy for me. It consisted of me living in Paris, and honestly the fantasy included friendships with writers long passed. Hemingway, Stein, Nin, Miller, Fitzgerald; the list could go on and on. I think the fantasy aspect led to the hesitancy. Feeling that I was born in the wrong time, was a great excuse to not take the risk and put myself out there.
I’ve also been terrified of critique, being found out to be less than adequate. Without an advanced degree in writing, who did I think I was? I need to remind myself that Shakespeare and Jane Austen didn’t have advanced degrees and it’s not a prerequisite. They just wrote, and wrote, and, wrote. They were brilliant in a way I do not believe I am, but I do have something to say and the world doesn’t necessarily need another Austen or Shakespeare, but maybe there is still a place for me.
For years, I told myself that I was stifled by writing at a computer. I was better writing in pen and then transferring to the computer. That I just wasn’t creative without pen and paper. Now, I finally have to call myself out, once and for all and call B.S. on myself.
Today, when I read this chapter and started to hear myself say, “Decide on what, I don’t know what I want to do.” The first thing that popped to the top of my head was, “Publish the poetry.” I have book’s worth of poetry that I’ve mostly been afraid to share outside this blog site. I haven’t even made a concerted effort to promote this. I’m excited every time I see that someone has read something I’ve written and even more excited when somebody follows me or comments on a post. It’s nice to think that someone, a total stranger even, finds value in what I write.
Less that a month ago, on Mother’s Day, my sister wrote a tribute to our mother on her Facebook page. My mother used to write a letter every night after dinner, my sister mused that had my mother lived in a different time, she may have been able to think of herself as a real writer. A dream of mine would be to get my hands on all the letters my mother wrote and publish them, just so my mother could be a published author.
My sister also mentioned in the post that is was our mother’s love of words that influenced both of us to write. My sister is a published playwright and novelist, and while I think of myself as more of an essayist who sometimes writes poems, my sister called me a “poet”. That had a tremendous impact on me. I hadn’t allowed myself to think of myself that way. But as much as I like just writing what’s in my heart and head and being as honest about myself as I can, nothing gets more to the heart of who I am as a woman than the poetry I write.
So, today I decided that it’s time. I am going to work on getting my poetry published. In a real book, by a real publisher. I need to do some editing, to be sure (or maybe I can let an actual editor do it). I need to create an outline for my book and I need to make it happen. I commit to this page and to myself, to get out of my own way, take the next best step, and the next best step after that and on and on until it is done.
I have just four more chapters until I graduate from Badass School with my B.A. degree. I won’t have anymore excuses after that.