Accountability & Passion
Below is a copy of a letter I sent to a couple of friends as a weekly check-in. I started telling my accountability partners about my week and about any progress I had made on my book and I got a bit carried away…
My New Year’s resolutions this year all funneled into this idea of consistency. This is my overarching goal for the year. (New Year’s is kind of my favorite holiday and I tend to celebrate at least at the beginning of every month) This is something I realized I have slacked on in the past few weeks. As we approach month #5 of 2016, I realize how off track I have gotten. I have lost the resolves I felt at the beginning of the year. I may still be going through the motions, but I question if my own resolve is really behind the actions.
I want to place a thought in you. I’m not going all Inception on you, I promise. It is however, something I have been thinking about. Remember when you first signed your contract with yourself? I was looking at mine taped to my closet door today. I signed it in August. I was so excited to finally do what I had been telling myself was, “someday.” Sadly, I think I have fallen back into this mindset. Complications arise and I have no clear set and solid date for publishing. I have gotten lax.
This week, staring at that contract, I remembered. I remembered I am a writer. I am going to live like one. We just had a guy at work have his last day. I am incredibly jealous of him. Not because he left, but why. He managed to save enough money to have at least two months of living expenses. That was two months he would not need a job and could focus solely on his art. Drawing. Painting. His passion. Again, SUPER jealous of him! While not everyone may have that luxury, it is no excuse. He is an artist and chooses to live as such. I can do the same, even if it is on a smaller scale. I like my job, and I still need to work. But I am a writer.
Coming back to my love of the New Year. I did not just set a goal. I was resolved. I made a promise to myself on New Year’s of what I was going to do and who I was going to be. If I want to be a writer, I need to be consistent. I need to write.
This week, since I am unable to progress much farther on my current project due to insufficient funds for editing (something I have accepted and am working to remedy), this does not, I repeat, DOES NOT!- allow me the excuse to stop writing. To stop doing something that I am passionate about. This week, I had a dream. A really weird dream… that actually would make a fun idea for a novel. This week, I started to write again.
I am writing, and I tapped back into that passion and the words are flowing! Sometimes, it’s not even for my novel! The words are flowing and I am again writing. And it Feels. So. Good.
It is coming out in my journal. It is coming out in letters to friends and family. It is coming out in books. It is coming out even in notes that I leave in work. They are long and detailed. It is such a release for me to get details out! I notice details. I see them, I hear them. I feel them. Sometimes it is overwhelming how many details I take in each day.
But as I sit, with whatever medium I have on hand at the moment, the details come, flowing like water. Cool, clear, refreshing water. And I feel good, despite stress at work, despite exhaustion, even despite weighty matters on my mind like finances. I feel good doing what I love, being consistent and moving forward towards my goals. My Dreams.
I may feel stuck in many areas of my life, but I still have those dreams. I still have my passion that I can hold to. It lights me. It fuels me, getting me through each day. No more excuses. No more saying I am working on my book, when in reality, I am on social media. Despite my best intentions to be trying to promote my book, it still feels a waste of time.
I don’t want to be a marketer. I understand it is important. The reading articles and books on business and promoting my book and platforms and how to use social media…. They are good. They are important. They are even necessary. But they are not essential. My writing is essential.
What is the difference between necessary and essential? They sounds the same, right? Not so much. At least not in my mind. Necessary are things like going to work. Eating. Sleeping. Surviving. Things that can put us in a grind. Essential are the things that make the essence of who we are. What we love. What motivates us. Essential are things like family relationships, and for me, writing and music -dancing and singing. Without these in my life, I lose the essence of who I am. I survive for a time, but never fully live!!!
I was offered several times this week large amounts of overtime at work. In response, I quote the words of my dear wise friend Sid the Sloth when I say, “No sthanksth, I choosth life.” (Ice Age- great movie. Very underrated) While the funding may be helpful right now, it is not worth the added stress, frustration and distraction from the things that are essential in my life.
Work revolves around and funds my writing, my writing is not a side project I work on around my work schedule.
Going forward, I want to check in with where my resolve is. I do not need to check in with my actions, if I keep my resolve in place. I want to continue to feel the passion that flowed from my fingers for the past hour in writing this. This is who I am. If I want to be a writer, this is what I need to remember through ups and downs. This is the life I choose.