A few years ago, I started a novel and then stalled on it. It caused me a lot of stress, because writing a novel had been a dream of mine for a long time. Then, after a life coach training with Brooke Castillo, I changed my thoughts and feelings about my novel.
I asked myself, “Why? Why do you even want to write this novel?”
The answer at the time was “Because I think I can make some people laugh, brighten their day, and help them escape a little bit into something fun. And even if it’s only a few people, that would be worth it.”
That answer felt good to me. That way of thinking lit a spark. It caused me to feel relieved. It eased the pressure.
And then, the words just flowed out of me. Consistently. With ease, every day. I quickly finished my novel. I was proud. I really liked it.
Then, a funny thing happened. I didn’t really care if anyone read it.
WHAT??? After all that time, after all that work, after all that stress, I didn’t care if people read it?
To be honest, I was happy that a few people read it. They liked it. It did make people laugh. Some thought it would be a shame if it wasn’t published. I don’t think it’s a shame. I honestly don’t care anymore. Why?
Because I wrote a novel… and guess what? The best part about writing the novel was writing the novel. The thoughts. The ideas. The walks around the neighborhood when the characters would talk to me. The plot twists I didn’t expect. The organic way in which the characters came to life and played with each other. The lessons the characters learned along the way. The satisfying jokes and metaphors and images. The way I saw myself braided into every character’s life in surprising, breathtaking, and beautiful ways.
The best part about writing a novel was writing a novel. I don’t look back at it and reread it. It’s on a shelf downstairs. I continue to enjoy writing every day.
WHAT??? Why don’t you share more of what you write?
Because the best part of writing is writing.
By the way, I’ve also run lots of short races, three half marathons, a trail half marathon, and a full marathon. And you know what?
The best part of running a race is running.
Don’t believe me? Pick a race date and train for a race. Race day will be fun, sure, but it will be nothing compared to the fun, pride, and satisfaction you will feel along the way. Waking up in the morning and running. Feeling your quads get stronger. Noticing how your abs hug in and support you. Witnessing the miles get easier. Overcoming the lies your mind tells you about limits and who you are. Achieving longer distances and eating buttery bagels and drinking cold Cokes. Laughing at your dirty legs while sharing a Coors Light with your friend after a good long slog.
The best part of your accomplishments is the journey.
Gimme a break, I hear you say. The old “enjoy the journey” crap.
Exactly. What you really want is an enjoyable journey.
Are you on a journey now? Why not? Wouldn’t life be more fun?
Hey, boo! Write a few novels! Or do that new thing! Why? Only for the fun of it. For the flow of it. For the rhythm of it. For the inspiration of it. For the insights that flow from it. From the way you get stronger. From the way you surprise yourself. From the way you start to believe that you can do anything.
Gorgeous, dream-filled reader: When you achieve goals and realize dreams, the process creates an empowered you… which… SURPRISE!!! helps everyone around you and changes the whole world.
Who cares if you finish? Who cares if you publish? Who cares if you PR? Do it for all the growth and fun you’re going to have along the way.
Loving you out there. Enjoy the journey. XO