Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Was Hard

“I aint choose to rhyme.
Rhyming chose me.”

Bubba Sparx – Ugly

“Bear in mind, if you are going to amount to anything, that your success does not depend upon the brilliancy and the impetuosity with which you take hold, but upon the ever lasting and sanctified bulldoggedness with which you hang on after you have taken hold.”

Dr. A. B. Meldrum

“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”

Roger Bannister

Every time I sit down to write, I’m a newborn.  Every time is the first day on the job where I know the basics (maybe), but I really don’t know what I’m doing.   Every time is a blank computer screen or a blank page.  Every time I have to walk without a map.  Honestly, right now I want to stop, walk back to my car, drive home and take a nap.  But I know the walk will be miserable, the drive will be long and I won’t be able to sleep.   So here I sit writing until I find my voice, my message.
This is true for anyone in Purpose.  A moment comes when it’s just hard.  It feels fruitless and pointless.  Honestly, at this moment, I still don’t know what the message of this blog is.  I’m sitting here writing and I still don’t know what I’m saying.  After all the writing I’ve done, this is supposed to be easier, not harder.  By the way, it’s not a moment.  It’s many moments. 
Maybe that’s my message.  Keep going.  The message hasn’t changed. It doesn’t need to.  Don’t stop.  This doesn’t have to be romantic or fun.  It’s okay if it’s hard.  On the other hand, I have years of writing behind me.  I have 146 blogs behind me.  I have over 35 years of journals behind me.   This is only as hard as I want to make it. 
I remember getting overwhelmed once trying to clean my garage.  My ADHD was kicking in like an angry mule.  A friend said, “Robert, this is in your mind.  Take it one step at a time, but don’t stop.” 
So I followed the advice and cleaned the garage, because I was reminded that difficulty is as much in the mind as anywhere else.   And the more time I take to consider the problem, the less time I have to do what I need to do.
While writing this blog, another friend messaged me and asked me for some good books on inspiration for his own purpose.  I replied, somewhat directly, to stop wasting my time and his and start writing and then the inspiration would come.
I had to tell myself the same thing.  Before I started writing, I was in a bookstore.  Normally, that makes me happy, but all I could think about was writing.  All I could hear was a voice saying, “What are you doing in here?  Why are you wasting time?  STOP!  Get to work!”
I admit the fun part of Purpose is gone at the moment.  Right now it’s just scary and lonely.  And no one can help me.  The only thing that will make me feel better is to stay in this chair at Starbucks and keep writing until I find my message.  No one can do this for me.  This is what it means to Keep Going.  I have to move beyond apathy, beyond fear, beyond sadness, beyond self-pity, beyond self-doubt, beyond longing and beyond all emotions other than determination.  There can be nothing else at this moment but the writing. 
In my last blog I had a revelation, an epiphany.  I want to write professionally.  I was so excited and so enthusiastic.  Still, no matter how strong a feeling is, it is just that – a feeling.  It comes and goes.  It falls and rises like ocean waves.  I can’t depend on it and I can’t hope to keep a constant level of enthusiasm.  All I can depend on are facts and actions.  Right now it’s just a dream, a fantasy.  As John Lennon sang,
So long ago, was it in a dream
Was it just a dream?
I know, yes, I know, seemed so very real
It seemed so real to me

John Lennon - #9 Dream

It may have seemed like a dream and if I don’t take persistent and consistent action, then that’s all it will be.  I’ve had other dreams before. I’ve wanted to be US history professor, a nationally-known career coach, a public speaker, an elementary school principal and a comic book store owner.  Some of those dreams are no longer important and some of them are still good.  But this dream of writing – I need it to go beyond the dream stage.  I really need to Get Started and Keep Going.
So here are the facts:
·      I want to be a professional writer.
·      I have a lot of experience.
·      I have the skill.
Here are the actions I can take:
·      I can keep writing.
·      I can join a group of other writers who will encourage me in what I’m doing. 
·      I can look for a mentor.
·      I can start looking for organizations that hire writers or teachers of writing. 
·      I can keep writing.

I see myself in the right place surrounded by the people I love and using the talents God gave me to make the world and myself better.   That’s real but it’s also romantic.  I left out the part where I still go through this angst every time I sit down to write.  Fortunately, I don’t care.  This is bigger than me.  If this is the price of doing what I was chosen to do with my life, so be it.  Every day, every single day, I Get Started and I Keep Going….and then maybe I can go back to the bookstore.