N.B. This one is a retrospective look at last week. It came up before I decided to declare my failures publicly.
This fall I vowed to complete the manuscript of the book I have been working on for, admittedly, over 10 years now. Granted, it’s form back in 2003, when I first started, was drastically different than it’s current form. But regardless, it’s been something I have been doing and thinking about doing for too long now.
This month has been a really great month of writing. Summer ended and I decided the fall was going to be my month to write… and to finish! Although I haven’t spent as many hours on my manuscript as I had intended, I feel like the quality of the work is better than I thought it would be. So, in essence, it felt good. Well, at least until last week, when the thoughts started to creep in:
What are you think?
Are you an idiot?
You ARE an idiot?
Who do you think you are?
You can’t write a book.
You’re writing is terrible. Look, you even made that cringe-worthy typo!!
WTF? This book is a stupid idea.
You can’t do it.
This idea is way to big.
And no one cares about your personal story. Grow up. Stop self-indulging.
You can’t write this in away that makes sense to others.
Stop. Stop now.
This isn’t going to work.
Do you even know WTF you are writing about?
What’s your point?
What’s your message?
You don’t even know how to explain your book when someone asks.
Stop. Stop right now.
You’re confused. And if you’re confused then your readers are going to be confused.
You can’t do it!
Yada yada yada
In the past, those thoughts would have crippled me. I remember when I launched my first life coaching course. After each of the 5 weekends I would call Mike crying insisting that I didn’t know what I was doing, that it was too hard to bring together psychology, neuroscience, mindfulness, and yoga. I would feel defeated for a few days. Fortunately, I had enough people paying me to continue that I did actually continue. I endured a list of statements much like the one above.
Eventually, I got over it. Or rather, I got through it. During my course and last week. When the thoughts emerged last week, they came up quickly. But, unlike times of the past, they didn’t seem to invoke the same visceral reaction that they normally do. It’s as if they floated in and then just as easily as they surfaced they floated on by. As I noticed them, I remember actively turning to them and saying “No! You can’t do this to me. I’m not listening.” and I continued to write.
I know these thoughts have weight and significance. And in all honesty, I have no idea if they are valid. But I do know that in the past, when they have emerged in the exact same way, they were wrong. I did launch a great course and it continues to be a great course. So all I know is that I am not prepared to let these defeating thoughts defeat me. I realize I might fail, that this book might actually be the REAL ridiculous project, distinct from the others, worse than all other projects. I cringe at that thought. But, I need to do this. I need to get this book done. If only to ease my mind and let this horse be dead. It’s been 11 years of this baby is growing inside of me. It’s time to give birth.