When I was a young girl I dreamed of being a writer. I never told anyone about this dream. One day I decided it was time, so I took a sheet of wide-ruled paper and started writing a story. It was about a land called Ux (or something equally similar to Oz. Yes, The Wizard of Oz was, and still is, my favorite movie. Watch it again if you don't agree. It's layered. Truly.). After just one side of one page, I gave up. I realized that I was copying the Oz story and it was stupid and dumb and if anyone read it they would laugh. I buried the page deep in a pile of papers. I didn't write again until my freshman year of college. My SAT scores sent me into English 100. Yep, remedial English. I was embarrassed about this for as long as it took to start my first assignment. I had to write about a place, so I wrote about my aunt's summer house, "the farm," on south Puget Sound. We went there every summer when I was a kid. Writing about "the farm" was the first time I ever enjoyed writing. I did what my professor told me to do: instead of telling the reader about "the farm," I painted a picture of the farm so the reader could feel, smell and taste the farm. I loved writing college papers because of this class.
But that didn't make me a writer. No, I let that dream lay dormant for many more years. I had to live my life before I could write about it. I had to accumulate my understanding about life before I could share it.
Enter two children in my mid-thirties. Enter myself as a crazy, zany mother who lost touch with herself, wondering where her life went. That's when I really started to write.
I didn't write with the intention of writing a book. That came later. At first, my intention for writing was to understand myself, my life, my challenges and my fears. Writing became revealing, cathartic, and therapeutic. It was only after I started regaining a sense of myself that I allowed that thirty-year-old dream to write a book to resurface.
Allowing myself to dream, just dream about writing a book, was huge. It took years before I told anyone my intentions. And when I did, I was very demure about claiming it as my own. Almost apologetic. But my husband and family urged me on. In the early years one of my brothers would call me occasionally and say something like, "Wow, you must be busy. You're writing a book!" I simultaneously puffed up with pride when he said this and shrank in, what, shame? Yea, something like that.
I worked for five, six, maybe seven years on writing my book. Persistently getting up at 5:30 a.m., I carved out time before the kids woke up.
People have asked me if it was hard to write. To that I answer with an unequivocal "Yes!" But, just like birthing a baby, in the after-glow of my book's birth, I forget all the hair-pulling moments, the doubts, the writer's block, and the desire to quit.
I AM proud of this accomplishment. Now that my book is out in the world, I feel empowered. Now that the secrets of my abortions are revealed, I feel free. Now that the shame of my limitations have been aired to the world, I feel liberated. And, after years of feeling alone in my story, I now feel immense support.
Life is a series of decisions and daily actions that lead us to creating the life we want. How do you want to make your life come true? If you could create one small habit to get you there, what would it be?