Thursday, May 15, 2014

Committing

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” --William Hutchison Murray

Many years ago Anne Lamott wrote a regular column on Salon.com. It was the first "blog" I followed faithfully and I looked forward to it every week. Then one day she announced that she was stopping. She had a book to write and needed to focus all of her energy on her new book. I was heartbroken and incensed. "WHY couldn't she do both?" I whined to The Universe and anyone else who would listen. 

This week I had a similar realization about my own work. For years I have wanted to be "a writer." I knew what that meant - I wanted to write a book. But instead of sitting down and writing a book I dabbled. I journaled. I blogged. I took jobs that had nothing to do with writing and did them for a few years until I realized, once again, that what I really want to do is write. 

A couple of weeks ago I did it again. I signed up with a freelancing site and took a couple of jobs. And I wrote. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. For four or five hours a day I researched and I wrote and then I wrote again. I made about $2 per hour on the two assignments I took, but I was writing. 

What I realized, however, is that this is not the kind of writing I really want to do and that these freelance assignments left me with no energy to do any other kind of writing. (And also, all of that time on the computer made my eyes so tired that I got a terrible headache. I need to save my "screentime" for work I really want to do.)

So that brings me to this: I need to take a hiatus from all other writing, and that includes this blog.

Don't get me wrong this blog and my first one have been instrumental in teaching me what it takes to be a writer and in helping me discover that this is what I really want to do, but right now I must commit myself to something that has been nipping at my heals for years: A book.

A book I finish and a book I am proud of. A book I love. Even if no one ever reads it. Even it it is never published. Even if I completely fail.

So today I am taking the leap. Today I am making the commitment. I am going to write a book.

See you on the other side.

[BTW...Three years later Ms Lamott started writing for Salon again and has done so off and on for the past ten years. Yay!]

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