Life has started moving faster and faster for me. I am enjoying this wonderful and amazing new writing journey of “please read my words and tell me what you think but don’t hurt my soul”, in hopes of making this my full-time career. And as unbelievable as this journey is going, even with the headway that I’ve finally made, it is STILL scary as hell. So much so that I find myself being cautious, too cautious, so cautious that I’m risking losing my momentum.
Recently, I’ve found myself internally fighting against an ever-growing pile of no’s and maybes, with yes’s getting lost somewhere under the mountain of insecurities. Yes’s mean that I have to do whatever it is that scares the living crap out me. It means that no matter what is hidden behind door number one, two or three I must deal with it. Win, lose or draw. Yes means that I could fail horribly. So, much like an overnight success story, No has started rearing its ugly, unproductive head daily in my mind.
Invest in yourself and attend a writing conference where you can meet people you don’t know. No. I won’t know anyone there and then I’ll be standing there looking like a lost puppy as wolves unite to create a literary unstoppable pack.
Send a copy of your book to Zane and see if she would be willing to be a mentor as you attempt to carve out your next steps. Nooo. I don’t even know where to send a copy, a letter, a email or even a carrier pigeon. And even if she did get it she would probably throw it in a pile with the other hopelessly dreaming writers who thought she would care.
Or go big and send a signed copy to Beyoncé and Oprah in hopes that they read maybe the first couple of pages and feel like they want to back a new and different project. Okay…that maybe truly a stretch but here’s my point:
If I continue to tell myself no, I truly have no clue what could happen. I remember telling a fellow author on Twitter who was getting some horrible feedback on the recent pick-up of his first book, that when obstacles and negativity start flying your way, that usually means that the devil is putting in his last ditch effort to try and throw you off that blessing that is right around the corner.
This No that is now trying to build a home in the depths of my mind, with new campaigns of fear to add to my journey has to go. As a writer who loves to write about outrageous but potentially real stories, by allowing No to find it’s place in my psyche, I have created scenarios that 1) have not been proven and 2) may be way off base. Sure these assumptions could be true but what if they are not? What if they are totally and absolutely ridiculous?
This past month, I started reading Shonda Rhimes’ new book Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person and even through it’s taking me longer to get through it than I like — that’s only because I enjoy writing over reading which probably doesn’t make sense to some — so far it has coached me through those no moments.
Check out her TED talks about how changing to a simple yes can change everything.
“If the song of my heart ceases to play, can I survive in the silence?”
–Shonda Rhimes, My year of saying yes to everything
So this week, fight harder than you ever have to get you to that place you’ve never known. Make your fears disappear by simply saying YES. For me this week, I’m going to register for a conference, find some way or even someone who can connect me to a channel to reaching Zane, and yes I’m even going to send my book out into the universe in hopes that Oprah or Beyoncé, hell I may even send it to our FLOTUS, with no fear in my heart. What’s the worst that can happen? But really the real question is what if the most incredible thing that could happen? Good luck and get on the “yes” bus today!