I was walking through a national park yesterday in the almost dark, for it was so early, breath chilly, with my friend Nina. She’s a full time writer, and I am a novice, so I take her advice on writing seriously. As we trod through broken gum leaves, branches snapping underfoot and navigated slippery rocks with waterfalls, I admitted to her I am stuck on something. I have almost two weeks without any demands on me, and my daughter away on school holidays, and I am utterly tempted to take the whole two weeks off and just recuperate. I’ve spent months collating my Letters into a book we are going to self publish (stay tuned I could wet myself with excitement), and I have begun work on a cook book, which is proving to be a BEHEMOTH task. So I pondered to her, do I work on the cook book or just take the time off? I presented all of this in such an enticing way – heavily leading into taking the time off – I was very confident Nina would exclaim ‘Babe! Take the time off! You deserve it!’ Instead she stopped dead in her tracks and said ‘What?? Write the cook book. Don’t stop until it’s finished. You want to be a writer? Well – write. Chain yourself to your desk. Get it done. Do all the lovely things you mentioned early in the morning or in the evenings. But 9-5, write that book’.
That’s the difference between choosing what we want NOW (instant gratification, feeling good) and what we want MOST. What I want most is to publish three beautiful books this year – the Letters, High Grade Living with Thames and Hudson (YAY!) and a cook book. They are three VERY different books. Is it possible? I truly don’t know. But I won’t ever know unless I apply myself. I won’t be able to make the impossible possible, by pondering it and considering it from every angle. I will know after actually DOING what’s required. About a decade ago, Zoe Foster Blake and I were on a meditation retreat together, she’s an utter writing powerhouse, and she said to me (and it stuck with me), so many people say to her ‘oh I’ve always wanted to be a writer’, and she says back, ’that’s nice, but are you prepared to work every weekend for a year in between your full time work to get it done?’
I share this as I wondered if perhaps you like me, have something in your life right now you are questioning. Maybe, you’re also grappling with a desire to create something amazing, yet the discipline is lacking? This is not to throw self care out the window and kill oneself. It’s about prioritisation and getting ultra, laser clear on what one wants. So you want ‘it’, but are you prepared to DO it. Maybe for you it’s better health, maybe a creative project, excellent fitness, study, a steady meditation practice. I thought perhaps if you truly got clear on whatever it is you want, we could cheer each other on, and create together…
Sent with a gentle push for you, so you can get started.