You wouldn’t have gotten the idea to do what you do, and then the idea to share it with others, and you wouldn’t have been asked to write a book if no one cared, if the Universe hadn’t conspired to get all those people to say to you ‘you should write a book on that!’
ARE YOU AN AUTHOR?
Today a friend I have been coaching, helping her to write her book, emailed and wanted to postpone our session for tomorrow morning.
At first, I was OK with it. I started to check my schedule to see how I could shuffle some things around to make way for her session.
Then I got mad. In truth, it would have been just bloody inconvenient, both for me, and the people I’d have to shuffle around.
And then I got sad. This woman has a wonderful process she uses that helps people get more food out of their gardens. It’s so simple, and right now is the perfect timing for what are unsettling days ahead of all of us.
Each time she postpones, or slacks off, or falls into self-doubt, what happens to her book? What happens to the folks who want/need that information?
Not being a nice-nice person, I called her read her the riot act.
“You have to put your book first! You can’t just fit it in to your life! For now, you have to fit your life around your book — even if you only write for 2 hours a day! It’s just a little book — it won’t even be 100 pages! What the heck???
See, if you commit to writing 2 hours in the morning five days a week, that’s 40 hours a month! You can get three books done in that amount of time!
So quit allowing your self-doubt, your husband, your kids, and your circumstances get in the way of actually sitting down and writing every single day!”
She didn’t like that. She said she wanted to support her husband in the things he does.
If your spouse makes demands that you abandon your working on your book because he wants you to go do something with/for him? You need to have a Talk.
Because he isn’t supporting YOU, or respecting you and your commitment. And he isn’t because YOU aren’t.
“Oh, it’s just one time …” becomes another … and another and another, until you just don’t sit down to write anymore. Is that what you want?
You are an author. Act like one.
Hold up your hand and say, “Oh honey, I’m so sorry, that’s during my writing time. Can we schedule it later or another day?”
If you think your husband is more important than your book, you can either put the book away and walk off, or re-commit.
Because your book is important. It will impact the world. Whether only ten people read it, or millions.
When you respect yourself and your dedication to this Dream, he’ll get the hint, and see your blocked-off times on the calendar as Sacred Space, and not bother you again.
Make it plain that this is how it is. Just say it matter-of-factly. No need for histrionics or anger or drama. Just, this is MY time.
If he is the man you thought you married, he’ll get it. If he doesn’t? Why are you with someone who doesn’t love you enough to support your Dreams, as well as his?
You know what’s cool? When you do that, he will respect you more!
If your kid has a demand, do the same. Ask daddy for help. If you live alone with your kids, let them know it’s writing time, and give them something to do during that time.
You can separate your writing time into parts if you have a child who is too young to self-regulate.
I was a single mom — I had to do that, too. As they got old enough to see what I was doing, and that I meant ‘don’t interrupt,’ my kids got it. They’d come out into my studio with me and quietly made stuff of their own, or just went out to play.
You are an AUTHOR.
You have something of value to offer the world.
Do not let ANYthing get in the way.
DO NOT LET ANYthing get in the way.
And as you probably know by now if you have already started writing, every last thing will pop up and demand space and time and attention!
Because that’s just how it is. Every artist and author knows that — each time we set about our Making — oh I forgot to call x, I didn’t vacuum, I need to go shop for dinner, I need to meet my client…
NO! Stop that.
Write first, then go do the mundane daily tasks.
I’ll repeat that:
Write FIRST, then go do the mundane daily tasks.
If you have self-doubt? Come on. You wouldn’t have gotten the idea to do what you do, and then the idea to share it with others, and you wouldn’t have been asked to write a book if no one cared, if the Universe hadn’t conspired to get all those people to say to you ‘you should write a book on that!’
Throw cold water on the doubts and fears. Douse ’em. Let them shrink away, and let that water feed the seeds of success sprouting invisibly right under the fears.
I know that whole thing so intimately well. As I write this, I’m thinking about how everything in the world seems to be working towards tripping me up today — from feeling shitty, to dealing with the nightmare of switching to a better computer, to the siren call of facebook reels, to a scathing attack by a so-called friend –
I have to put those things aside for now. I need to write this. Those other things are hopping around by the roadside with their thumbs out just waiting for me to pick them up again. They can wait — I’m busy!
THE NASTY SIDE OF IT ALL
It can be so lonely as an author.
You can feel like no one understands.
You can feel alone and lonely.
You might wonder if it’s really worth it to sit alone & type your brains out.
You can wonder if anyone will really give a tinker’s damn about your book once it’s published.
You can hate marketing.
You don’t know if your book will bring you one red cent, or new clients, or inspire anyone, or help them attain their own Dreams.
As someone who has written and compiled 50+ books, I get that — on a visceral level! But focus is the name of the game. How do you think I got all those books done?
All of us authors just have to keep on keeping on!
Thanks so much for reading my story. I hope it lit you up. Or maybe it inspired you, or made you curious, or gave you a new perspective with which to view and appreciate your own life. Or maybe take on a new exciting scary fun adventure! That’s my wish.
YOU’RE AN AUTHOR. OR NOT.
© Angela Treat Lyon 2010
text © Angela Treat Lyon 2023
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