Don’t get me wrong, I knew I had to write. That was a given. Even if I never published, I kept scribbling because I have a deep need to express myself. It was my joy in the act of writing that allowed me to start so many times, sure that this time I would make it to the end.
I did what the motivation experts suggested. I surrounded myself with like minded people. I joined writers groups and I formed them. I tended to be most sympathetic with those people who procrastinated…like me. I put up motivational sayings everywhere, but it seemed I wrote more motivational sayings than manuscripts. I set goals only to watch myself abandon them. Nothing seemed to work.
Then I lost some precious people in my life. Finally the fear of time running out pushed me passed my self-doubt. It was a wake-up call to get serious about my writing. This time I pulled out all the stops. Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way became my bible. I believed and practiced the habit of writing every day, even if it was morning pages. I still procrastinate some days but I find a way to make it up in other days. I used Wayne Dyer’s suggestion from Wishes Fulfilled to Photoshop a “cover” for my book, and I put it by my computer. Every day I had something to focus on. I really needed it during the agonizing process of revising. And all of this took a long time. A really long time.
If I’d known how long it would take, would I have quit? It would have been tempting because I still carry those bits of self-doubt. Sometimes the only way to keep going is to think about how much I’ve already invested and fight like hell not to waste it.
I persevered and now I have a beautiful book to hold in my hand. Even though I faltered and stumbled and wanted to stop, I made the journey all the way to the end. One of those sayings that I still rely on is this one: “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”