So, it's really just that time.
I have to stop making excuses about why I can't face the blank page.. why what I have to say is worth saying, whether or not others have said it already, or similarly.
I have talked to 5 friends this week alone, about how much I need to discipline myself to the pen and paper because of writing deadlines I have set for myself.
Yet, I open my notebook to jot down general ideas, and break out my laptop with a carved-out two hours to spill my thoughts, and then I find a million reasons to avoid the very thing I need and want to do.
I think I'm scared.
Just a big chicken.
I obsessively wipe counters.
I ramble on the phone, run the vacuum, make to-do lists, and find a dumb reason to run to Target, even when there isn't a penny left to spend on anything there.
I surf the latest Pinterest pages on how to make clean peanut butter cookies.
I scroll through Instagram and wonder what the heck it takes to get followers, and why I'm wasting so much time trying, and better yet, I look for another drawer to purge.
"That's actually needed," I say to myself. "I had that on my list to do anyway"
And forever it continues.
And I get nowhere. Really fast.
And the second half of the year arrives, and I gain speed on that New Years Eve party I promised I wouldn't attend again without a complete manuscript ready to turn in to a publisher. And then, I am enormously overwhelmed that yet again, I am missing the mark of the greatness I had set out for.
Just yesterday, I started crying about this...
"What if I never become something? What if that massive goal I set is never achieved and then the person I said I would be (and am perfectly capable of being), I never become?
I read and listen and observe, and from that I aim to teach and inspire and lead but on most days, I sit paralyzed. "I'm a natural writer" they say, "so good at telling stories that make me think," but I don't do it.
I have urgent matters.
How dare I sit in a cozy, glass-enclosed room at the library overlooking a peaceful lake with movie soundtracks playing in the background while all I do is emote at the keyboard?
That is as selfish as it gets.
That won't earn cash, won't help my family, won't produce "meaningful" anything.
I want to be a writer.
I want to walk up to podiums and do mic checks - prepping for crowds of women to walk in and take out journals and write down what I say, or sit on tall, shiny bar stools in television talk shows and answer questions about the life unimagined, the marriage journey that's tough and worth it, the health and wellness quest every woman is trying to tackle. I think I have things to say, but my tongue is tied. My fingers cramp, my brain stops, my heart breaks.
I see what I want dangling there, aching to grasp it, but am so busy telling myself I don't deserve it, that I literally look for ways to keep it out of reach.
Do you ever do that?
And so this is why today I am saying, "It's time."
And even if just one of you reads this, it's worth writing.
It's time to let you in.
All the way.
It's time to give myself permission to have what I've been wanting... words on pages in a book, that you'll buy and read, and share, and maybe even be changed by. It's time to get this blog off the ground... link it, post it, tell people about it. It's time to dust off my four outlines and half-written essays and form at least one of them into a book. It's time to proceed - broken and scared - with the story I have to tell, and trust that even if commas and quotations are misplaced and modifiers are dangling, that the message I have for the world, that burns in my gut, must be told.
I know the word brave gets tossed around a lot these days. I hesitate to use it, for fear I'll be cliche (which again is another one of my famous excuses for not sitting down, being still and WRITING), but friends, brave is what it takes.
I have to dare to believe I have something to say.
I have to stop practicing my speech, and scripting all my words, and sifting through piles of books on my shelves and hiding in those authors' uses of metaphors and well-timed phrases, and physically sit, at an appointed time each day, and write.
"She's smarter. His is a story others can relate to. Her experience will really inspire. He really accomplished the impossible."
I can't keep saying this stuff. I run these ideas through my spinning head and find one more excuse to empty the dishwasher, change the sheets, RSVP to a party invitation, or pull the weeds in the front flower bed.
Lovely as those necessary tasks are, they don't get a book written.
So, tomorrow I start.
Will you start something tomorrow that you're scared of... and then tell me about it?
And then, let's just do what we're scared to do... together.