About 2 weeks ago, I started back editing my book manuscript that I had began way back in November for NaNoWriMo.
I was hesitant to start and found myself resisting. I was in the middle of a move and had decided that I just did not have the time. Or so I thought. I had started to feel inadequate and fell into this kind of thinking: if I can’t muster up 3 or 4 hours then I’m not really committed. This means I’m not really a writer. And for a moment I actually believed it, which is why I stopped editing for months. I did this dance for about three months. I wouldn’t write but I would run alongside this negative thought loop that said I didn’t have what it took to be consistent or that I couldn’t sacrifice all my time to write. My belief in those two latter thoughts led to the belief that I wasn’t a committed writer since I couldn’t get my self back started on the book.
I was in yet another day of spinning my wheels and it hit me. That is just resistance. I can stop spinning my wheels and start doing something else. I can change how I want to feel and do what I want to do. I let that thought marinate for a day or two
A few days after that I made a decision to simply take out the laptop and turn it on. I made another decision to open up the draft document on my computer and just look at it. A funny thing happened: I edited one full chapter, which quickly turned into two.
The next day I edited another chapter. Over the weekend I didn’t edit but the following week started with me editing for 15 minutes per day. Each day I got up and did something even if for a few minutes caused a lot of that negative noise to die down. Taking a step is taking a step whether it is a baby step or a leap.
Don’t allow your inner critic to convince you that you are not dedicated enough or passionate enough. You are enough.
Start somewhere that is what matters the most. I’m reminded of a scene in the movie Sister Act 2 where she offers a young Rita, played by Lauryn Hill, some encouragement from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. Rikle tells a young poet, “If you wake up in the morning and you couldn’t think of nothing but writing, then you are a writer.” It’s not about having it all figured out. It’s not about having it planned out for years in advance. It’s about what you want to do and what you are doing in the moment.
You are dedicated enough. You are committed enough. You are worthy of taking a step. Move towards your dreams. Live your wild life.