Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Success

update: hi. don't know how my comments got turned off, but they are on now. issues.


I am shocked and awed and amazed and inspired and also sort of feel like I've been kicked in the gut.

I didn't know.



So yep. My sort-of* blog friend, Laurie, announced on Monday that she'd written a book. And there it is in all its glory.

Wow, huh?

Our Crazy Aunt Purl is a fantastic writer. She's a gifted blogger and designer, too. And I had no doubt she'd write a book, or that the book would be well received.

But...

I can't really get my arms around the fact that she's gone and done it. Just, poof! (Not that it didn't take work to write it, just that, whoosh! Time flies and we didn't even know she was working on it and then suddenly here it is. Ta da!)

And...even though the book doesn't come out until October, it's already up for pre-sale on Amazon. And it is kicking ass!



That's just amazing.

Also, her publisher is the same one who produces all the Chicken Soup books, and so I really don't have much doubt that Laurie will end up on Oprah before we know it. She's just that good, and just that fun and funny and inspirational and worthy.

And thus, we come to the point of the entry where I mope and whine and share my hideous feelings of jealousy and embarrassment.

I have been crying since I saw her entry.

I mean, I haven't sorted all my feelings out yet, but not only is this amazing and wonderful, it also emphasizes how much I haven't done and can't seem to do and in three seconds, I went from feeling positive to dealing with a raging sense of insecurity. My mind races --

"Why haven't I...?"

"Why don't I...?"

"When will I...?"

"Could I ever...?"

"I will never..."

"And even if I did, it would never be as good."

Oof. That last one there. That's a bitch to get around, but that is what this knot in my stomach is all about.

From the recesses of myself, the voice is there: "Well, there you go. Whatever it is you thought you were doing? She's done it. She's done it well. And she's done it better than you ever could. There is no point in you even trying. Why don't you take up some other hobby? I hear golf is nice."

But of course, there's this aspect, too, lifted right (um, hi) from Laurie's own blog entry on this very topic:



What if, indeed.

So rather than blather on about this before I have any sort of perspective, I'd love to hear from you. How do you find inspiration, what makes you keep trying, what gives you the motivation to pursue something you're deathly afraid of failing at?


*"sort of" = I do a lot of stalking, and she basically lets me. :)

23 comments:

  1. Perhaps before your book, you would like your own online newspaper of sorts?
    And when I'm trying to get stuff done (hello, master's thesis! where did you come from?) I sit myself down and write a time budget. I realize that unlike Laurie, whose blog I love, I have a boyfriend, I need to sleep 9 hours a night, and need a lot of contact with my friends. We share the 2 hour commute. Which leaves me with not a whole lot of time. But it does mean that watching another episode of Grey's Anatomy, knowing that it will make me sad and weepy, sometimes isn't really worth it. Sometimes.

    Boy I do kinda wish I only needed 4 hours of sleep a night.

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  2. Hey K,

    You may not want advice--you may just want to vent. But all your questions made me think of this, so here goes...

    Have you ever tried The Artist's Way? It talks a lot about all those questions you just mentioned.

    Now, full disclosure--I tried it and couldn't make it work for me, but I have a lot of friends who did find it to be really helpful.

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  3. Kristy-

    I don't have any one thing I do. And the lots of things that I do, don't ALWAYS work. Sometimes I still fear failure. Sometimes I freeze in my tracks. Sometimes I don't try because I just know I will fail.

    All that said, I have the following that I do to get myself unstuck. And mostly they work!

    1. I keep a sucsses file. Awards, letters, write ups, etc. When I have a crappy day/week/month, I pull them out and remind myself that I can be sucssesful, damnit!

    2. I keep my goals with me at all times. They are laminated and in my dayplanner. Some are short term. Some are longer. Some are life goals.

    3. I have inspirational quotes stuck in odd places. ie: my glovebox, kitchen cabinets, front door, makeup drawer, etc. I see them all the time. They keep me moving.

    4. I share my goals/dreams/crazy ideas with my close friends. I invite them to ask me how I am doing on those goals. Accountability is a powerful thing.

    5. I decided that I would rather die trying than to wonder "what if". If the worst that happens is that it doesn't work out, well I will just do it different next time.

    So that's what I do. Find what works for you. Lean on your friends. Jump in when you are ready. And just maybe even if you are not! =)

    Kristie

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  4. I haven't yet found the motivation to get me out there to have a photography show. I have a place where I could hang my work, even sell it if I felt the need to, but I tell myself, "Well, it will cost a lot to mat and frame everything. Not to mention getting it developed at any size other than a 4x6. And, honestly, who wants to see some pictures that *I* take?"

    And so, I tell myself this and I haven't gotten my camera fixed and I haven't taken the time to go out and take the pictures that I want to take. To have that art show.

    But, there are other things that I keep trying at and I seem to be doing ok. I think it's really just a matter of telling yourself, "Ok, so if I fail I won't die and I won't lose everything I've worked for up until now. I'll just learn from the mistakes and try again a different way."

    And I think that may be what I need to start telling myself and get working on that photography exhibit. :)

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  5. I read her post.. and unlike some other blogger authors, she modestly didn't tell till it was done. YAY CAP. I'm sure it was hard not to tell, but also hard to worry about being judged for her writing.

    We're all afraid of being judged.. every day, every blog entry. ::shrug::

    But I feel sort of the same as you... why do you think I drink? ::laughing:: I've been told a million times I should write a book. I was actually even published once, sort of... someone did actually ask ME to write a foreward to THEIR book which I thought was pretty cool.

    But hey, book, shmook.. who cares. If it's meant to be, it will. Until then, just enjoy the creative writing by blogging.. and drink some wine *grin*

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  6. I feel your pain. Writing a book tops my list of things to do before I depart this world. Problem is, I'm not sure what that book will be about. I love the process of writing, the mechanics of language and punctuation (Call me crazy. Call me geek.), and I think I can bring a unique perspective and humor to whatever plot I settle upon. Once I figure that out, I might have a chance of actually writing it.

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  7. I don't necessarily have any advice, except that you should just go for it. I think you've shown us, here, at least that you have the talent and ability to write.

    If you need some words of advice, maybe email Laurie (Purl) if you haven't done so already and ask her how she went about it and for tips. I'm sure she would be helpful.

    Best wishes and I'll be looking out for your book. ;)

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  8. Hi delurking here -

    I am a visual artist and have had the same "easier to not do than to try and fail" issues. I tried the Artist's Way, I took lessons, I went to workshops - then one day I stumbled upon the thing that works for me.

    No Censorship Allowed.

    None at all. I had to banish the little voice that rejected ideas before I could even get them on paper.

    The trick is to create a perfectly safe space that no one else will EVER see, and go ahead and make what ever I want how ever I want to make it at the time. And if I can't think of anything, I go right back to basics. I just grab something, anything and draw it; do a little still life. And if it comes out bad, or doesn't look like my work is supposed to look or I ruin it somehow, it does not matter at all, because no one ever will ever see it. This way I create mountains of stuff (What to do with it all? That is another matter...) and once the dust settles I can go through it and pick out the things that do work, re-order, recombine, cobble together ideas that are what I want.

    This method has worked really well for me, the key is to have a safe, private place.

    ps: I work full time & have all the normal family obligations, too. The first thought to banish is the one about not having enough time. If I only get in the studio once a month, I try to make the most of that once, by not wasting time on thinking "boy I am rusty" or "man, that sucks".

    Every person is different, and your results may vary.

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  9. k,

    my mom always said "don't should on yourself" and i hope you take that to heart. do what you want, when you want. not when someone else thinks you should.

    that being said, you are a phenomenal writer with plenty to say. i would buy a book you wrote so long as it wasn't preachy (which i know you wouldn't do). perhaps you outta consider letting a publisher do their job and make decisions about your writings. you just write. IF that is what you truly want. just know that c.a.p. might have a book out there, but it does in no means say that she did it better than you. it says she wrote a book before you. not better than you. you are wonderful. we all know it even if sometimes you forget.

    would it help if i asked you to get that book cranking so as to not let down your invisible internet friends??

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  10. Staying 250 lbs and a chain smoker who sat on my ass all day definitely would have been a lot easier than the choice I made (lose 100 and train for a marathon), but honestly, I had to see the outcome of my inertia in order to get off my butt... and here's waht I saw: dying, probably single, no kids, from lung cancer, that's only if the heart disease didn't kill me first.

    Change happens slowly -- REAL change -- you take little steps and they turn into habits. I don't think of this as "a diet" anymore... it's just who I am -- the way I eat, the way I exercise, teh way I live my life... I think you approach any task like project management. If this is really what you want, set aside time each day to work on it. Make it your second job (my weight loss has been my second job, although honestly it's more time consuming than my full time job -- and much more rewarding), from 5 PM - 6 PM every single night, KiKi writes, and she doesn't answer the phone.

    Start with an outline.
    Fill in the pieces.
    Ask us for help, we'll give you feedback.

    Project management. It's hard to put yourself first, but the most important project mangement is YOU.

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  11. k,
    i don't know if you only meant artistic pursuits, but there was a time i was to afraid to live.

    i sat in the dark (literally and figuratively) cutting, drinking, smoking, binging, purging, and crying all the way to 425 lbs.(christ it hurts just to type it).

    I waited to die, too afraid i didn't deserve to live. The motivation to change simply came from the realization i wasn't going to die any time soon (i wasted 4 years).

    Then as I did more the motivation came from remembering how good it was to accomplish anything, even small things. And now the motivation comes from a fierce determination to not go back. Sometimes the motivation you need is the idea of what you don't want to happen.

    A wise friend once told me "you are deserving of anything you chance for and if there is the opportunity for success, why give up?"

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  12. Ericha2@yahoo.com11:38 AM, April 26, 2007

    K,

    I don't read CAP...so I don't know if her book would be "better" than yours. What I do know is, if you don't try, you'll never know. And that is worse than trying and failing.

    I see a lot of myself in you. I know we come from completely different places but we do a lot of things the same way. I know there is a lot you want to accomplish, you just can't try to do it all at once and expect results immediately. If you do things that way your're dooming yourself to defeat.

    Sit down, create a list of all you want to accomplish, be realistic, set time goals for each item, then prioritize. If writing is most important than that is what you need to focus your time on. If it's stand up, focus on that. If it's losing weight, focus on that. Once you have the task underway and it's manageable, pick up the list and add the next task. When you try to do everything at once, the stress of it is too much to handle.

    Good luck with everything. And I'll buy your book, and I'll read it, and I'll tell all my friends about it...just like I did with your blog.

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  13. Ericha2@yahoo.com11:44 AM, April 26, 2007

    Had to add one more thing.

    I just read the bio info for CAP on Amazon and found out she has been a writer for a long time. Working as a journalist and starting an online magazine before the blog and the book.

    She has a background in writing. Give yourself a break...of course it was "easier" for her to write a book. Writing is her career.

    Again, get your mind in order then take on the world, one task at a time.

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  14. What keeps me going is a line from a Mary Chapin-Carpenter song :We've got two lives, one we're given and the other one we make.

    Now I'm going to add NO CENSORSHIP. To the lurker who gave that nugget of knowledge...THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

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  15. As I wrote recently, we've got to make ourselves just DO IT. Do the writing. You can't get it out there, you can't fail, you can't succeed, if you don't write the damned book (or whatever) first.

    Of course, I am often guilty of blogging instead of working on my novel, reading instead of working on my novel, watching some film instead of working on my novel, etc. But at least I berate myself for it. :)

    Also always keep in mind this quote, from former British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes: "The progress of any writer is marked by those moments when he manages to outwit his own inner police system." I have confidence that you can outwit those inner cops, Kristy.

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  16. Woulda, coulda, shoulda never did. How many times I heard that growing up and it is probably the best advice I could ever recieve. Hey, and maybe that book is still ruminating around in your noggin. Jot down ideas when you think them, write a thought on sticky notes when something you would really like to include. Every book starts with an idea. You have LOTS. Good Luck on the book.

    Cindi

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  17. just about anyone can write, self-publish, and get a book onto amazon these days. bloggers who sell their "books" online are a dime a dozen, so don't sweat it.

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  18. You know, I totally forgot to finish my thought when I wrote my first comment... (the first one)

    So because you're a bit more busy than CAP, it'll just you a little longer to get things done. Doesn't mean you can't do it, just don't hold yourself to her timeline, and make sure you make steady progress (10 min a day ?)

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  19. K,

    I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you, but I don't. What works for me is the fear that I'll lose something of myself if I don't try. For example, my greatest fears are that I'll become boring and/or lose my intelligence. Because of those two things, I'm constantly looking for something new, some new challenge. I don't know if that's inspiration, but it definitely helps me keep moving and lands me in a whole heap of new situations.

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  20. crap or get off the pot....dont whine about what others have done ....you make your own destiny......if you want to write a book do it!!! you can delete my comment's if you want but you know I'm right..you have lots of interesting things to say...then say it...ya never know CAp's book might be a bomb..or not we wont know till its out...



    blhurley1@comcast.net

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  21. I'm definitely going to by CAP's book (I love her!), and if you write a book, I will definitely buy it also! You are BOTH great writers, and you each have your own distinct style. It's that individual style you each possess that makes you both such fun to read!

    SO - - WRITE THE BOOK ALREADY . . . :-)

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  22. Inspiration, hmm. Actually I find inspiration in the accomplishments of people like Laurie. My reaction in reading that she had been published was also one of surprise, but I found it to be happy news for her and a sign that if I wanted to do something like that it might be possible if I try. In other words it gave me hope by showing that it can be done. Maybe it is all about how you look at it. Try not to compare the successes of others to your own life and instead appreciate them for what they are let them inspire you to do the things you want to do.

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  23. i'm sorry - i have no advice, i just wanted to say that your entry hit me like a brick - those questions/emotions.
    i think you are awesome and i hope some day you write a book!
    and because of you, i have refused to read s klein's book. i want to read yours first. so get cracking :)

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