I’m in the midst of writing my memoir and things are getting more…. real. The book is taking form and that’s both an exciting and terrifying process.
I’m all over the map with how I feel about the book. Today: inspired. Yesterday: defeated (oh inner resistance you are so freakin sneaky).
But that’s what writing does to you – or creating anything you care deeply about, whether that’s a business, a relationship, your conscious life – it sends you running in circles, suddenly sure that if you don’t buy those boots that on sale right this very minute the world will end.
This is totally natural and totally okay that our minds do this whinging about.
It’s also incredibly useful (actually completely life changing) to observe your mind do its whinging and pinging without getting hooked in her complicated maneuvers.
Take today when I was feeling inspired. The question motivating me as I wrote was something like, “What was the truth and texture of my life during that period of time?” That question helped focus my writing mind on finding the truthful rich details to express my thoughts.
But then, yesterday, when I was feeling defeated? My mind wandered to quite a different question, something like, “If they were to write a story about me today, what would they say?” “They” being a sort of faceless “real” writing/arty/creative crowd that part of me still yearns to impress. (Blushing brightly as I write this but hey, I promise imperfection you can use.)
I spent probably five minutes fantasizing about what I’d want them to say about my book and me as a writer, and then my book was made into a movie and Jodie Foster asked me if she could direct it and that guy I used to date who’s a big shot in Hollywood now called to say…
And then I snapped to. Gave myself a little love pat on the shoulder and “Oh honey, of course you want all those good things to happen. But right now, writing this, right this very minute? This is way better than any fantasy will ever, ever be.”
I reminded myself that making it into someone else’s story matters nada. Zilch. What matters is making my own story. Every single day.
When I’m stretching myself into scary new territory, the old thought patterns of “arriving” or “making it” or “mattering” come roaring back in. So adorable, so normal. A reminder to give myself lots of compassion and get back to work.
I’m so grateful I can giggle and get back to it (…most days. Some days I dither off into social media or dive a little deeper into the fantasy du jour. Oh well!)
Last year I began to understand far deeper how to live more of my time in the territory of untrying. Unfixing. Of simply being in my life. Not trying to mold it or twist it or stuff it into some external idea of what the life of a successful writer and entrepreneur is supposed to look like.
I got, on a far deeper level than ever before, that this body, this next breath, this sentence I am writing this moment, the cup of tea Bob just brought me, is all there is. And it’s so much more than enough.
I’m not sure why exactly I’m more able more of the time to live this obvious yet oh so elusive fundamental truth. Maybe because so many friends are sick with life-threatening cancers, maybe the tender transition to living 1000 miles away from my daughter, maybe writing the memoir, for sure leading the Oasis, but all I know for sure: I am so very grateful.
So who cares who writes a story about you today or any day? What matters is the story you are writing in this very moment by being here.
Turn toward yourself and poof, the story writes itself.