Do you ever feel like you don’t like the direction your life is going? Have you ever yelled out-loud (or screamed it silently in your head), “I hate my life!” If you have, then it’s time to make a change. It may even be past time.
I’d been feeling like this for several months toward the end of last year. On top of that, I was bored. Same old routine, day in and day out. I felt stifled. I needed to do something different, but what? I knew I needed to make a change or go crazy.
I wrote in my journal, “What can I do to change this?” I decided I needed to get healthy and stop eating so many sweets. Why was I eating so many sweets? To fill a void. What void was I trying to fill? Whatever was currently missing from my life. Well, what is missing? A creative outlet.
I knew what I really wanted to do is pursue my writing dream. This will be the year I say, “I’m a writer.” I write and research for a living, but I don’t feel like writing reports in the “company voice” counts as being “a writer.” I also have a family history blog, but I want to do something separate from it.
I want to write about what I want to write about. I want to write fiction and creative nonfiction. I want to write about what inspires me, even if it’s just about the vegetable garden.
Now I understand why my dad was always writing. He had to get the stories out.
I didn’t know how much I was going to struggle with this new life direction—this writing dream. FEAR stops me. Fear of not doing it right, fear of looking stupid, fear of not finishing, and on and on. You name it, and I’m afraid of it.
Last November, I started writing a biography about my maternal granddad. It’s overwhelming. So much research and worrying over how to make his story as interesting to the average reader as it is to me. I put the book on hold while I try to figure this out.
But I can’t stop this new direction my life is going now. I have to write!
Once we set our new life direction in motion, we have to keep moving forward. What steps can we take to accomplish this? For me, it will mean making the time to write every day, even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes (writing for my job doesn’t count), reading for inspiration and tips, and practicing writing some more–in public. I’ll break down my granddad’s biography into smaller, less scary chunks and continue on continuing on.
I first wrote this post for Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers course. While flipping through my journal at the time for inspiration, I saw where I had written in big, bold letters, “Write or DIE!” I’d underlined it a few times, too. That made me laugh, but it tells me there’s no going back to not writing!
I can’t not write!
Now I’m full of ideas! I’m always thinking, “Now that’d make a good story!”