Photo by Casey Muir-Taylor
I know, cheesy title. I tried to turn it this way and that and couldn't come up with anything better to describe how I feel and hopefully to try to help you do the same. Deciding to write full time was the scariest thing I did in my life, but ever since then the universe has been aligning everything for me to make it happen. Actually, it is ME who is aligning everything, but I wouldn't have been able to see universe's offering without committing to it first. You know, it's like that video with kids playing basketball. DID YOU SEE THE GORILLA? Once you watch it again and look for gorilla, you'll see it. Same here, once I started writing, told everyone I'm writing, committed to writing, all the things that I wanted and dreamed of started showing up. Seriously. It's like every day I have an epiphany, to the point of goose bumps. Here are a few:
The perfect story. I don't mean that my story is perfect, far from it (I'm still on Draft 5 and still not fully satisfied with it). Actually, no story is ever perfect and if we all waited for writers to crank out perfect stories, we'd have no books to read. I mean it in the other sense. FOR ME, my story is perfect. It let me see myself for who I am, accept myself, be myself, and even start to like myself (because I usually hate everything about myself). My story did it by slowly pointing me to the most hidden corners of my mind and pulling them to the surface, to where I could see them, over and over and over, until I understood that this is the stuff I'm made from, and it's OKAY, it's okay to be me, it doesn't suck. For example, my book has a ton of cool expensive designer gadgets in it, from a Neiman Marcus limited edition 1998 silver Ducati 748L to Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S to Ferretti Group Pershing 64 yacht to a sonic gun with which you can kill sirens (haven't fully researched this one yet) to... well, I'll stop here. Writing made me stop worrying about being so hung up on tech things and actually enjoy researching them for hours online. AND I HAD GUILTLESS FUN! It felt like a miracle.
The perfect life pattern. For the longest time I was afraid to do what I wanted to do and constantly tried to do what others wanted, to make them like me, to, hopefully, start liking myself a little better. I was going to places I didn't want go, did things I didn't want to do, hung out with people I didn't want to hang out with, even ate food I didn't want to eat. Ever since I started writing, I started settling into a certain routine that allowed me to write more productively, slowly learning to decline things that interfered with it, at first because I was afraid I won't be able to finish my book on time (savings only last THAT long) and then more and more because I realized it's okay to not be interested in things other people are interested in, okay not to go to places other people want to go to, okay to read books all day long and okay wanting to escape into my own head when others want to talk and talk and talk. The more I did it, the happier I felt, yet at the same time my guilt wouldn't let me allow it. Until one day I realized, this is it, this is me, and I'm happy this way and I can stop trying to make others happy. I FELT LIKE IT'S OKAY TO BE HAPPY. And it felt like a miracle.
The perfect future. I know what you're thinking. It's not that. I have no clue what will happen. I don't know if I will ever get published or not, or if anyone will ever want to by my books. What's funny is, people keep asking me about this, and I keep telling them, I haven't finished my book yet, so I haven't gotten to that point yet, so I don't know! What I do know is that ever since I started writing, it's like a faucet has been opened in my brain. I'm flooded with story ideas, barely having time to write them down, not knowing if I will ever be able to write them into books, but at the same time being so giddy and happy and mesmerized by them in the moment I get them, that all worries about future disappear from my mind. I'm so in the NOW right now, like never before. That's what I mean by the perfect future. There is none, and I get it. Every time it happens, it feels like a miracle. This is the best way I can describe it.
I can only tell you that I look back at my life and think, why the hell didn't I do this earlier? What is it that stopped me? Why was I so afraid to drop everything and do what I really wanted to do? And you know what the answer to this is? It's not that I had to make money and for that I had to have a job, or was raising kids and couldn't carve out time for anything else, or was going to college and was busy, or <insert your perfect excuse here>, IT WAS ME. I was the problem. I was the one who told myself, I can't do it. I'm bad, I'm horrible, I won't ever succeed at this, English is not even my first language. I'm crazy, I'm... you get the idea. THAT was a horrible thing to see. What, nobody else to blame, nobody I could point my finger at and bitch at for not letting me do it? Yeah. So, seeing that felt like a miracle too. The miracle of knowledge that it's up to me to make myself happy. Ouch. That hurt.
SO, DON'T REPEAT MY MISTAKE. START WRITING NOW! DON'T WAIT. LIFE IS SHORT. DO IT.