|"How ever will anyone find my hashtags on my authentically sourced manuscript?" she asked herself, hoping someone would notice how very early 90's "Blossom" slash Tom Petty she looked. (via)|
On my way to work on a tiny screen, I started writing my book this week. The big book - the biggest thing I'll have ever created other than a human. (Humans count, right?)
It was going pretty well, all things considered. Sure - it was only 8 minutes with which to expound upon the joys of selling one's knitted puppy apparel, but those were 8 minutes I would've wasted staring at old farts in frumpy Fiats on the freeway.
Later on in the week, I decided I needed to do more than spend 8 minutes tapping at a screen. So I set up shop at a local coffeehouse/garage, treating myself to a mocha with whipped cream after an intense workout and got to work... reading things that would just make me hate & doubt myself for HOURS!
Lemme give you a pro-tip:
Do not ask Louis C.K. if you're a writer, even if only through Google. If you do, he will tell you:
"I typically don't write out in the world. I think people who do that are exhibitionists, showing off that they are writers. And I say that because I've done it -- you want to be in a coffeehouse with your notebook and look really thoughtful."
And if you're procrastiworking by doing research for what makes a great expert, you could also twist in the winds of self-doubt for hours after reading the following super insightful article from the Editor-In-Chief & Director of 99U, Sean Canda:
The Creative World's Bullshit Industrial Complex:
Don't fall into the trap of being an expert before you're ready. We have enough of those.
Add in some insecurity and self-doubt and you've got the PERFECT writing environment in which to assure creative humans that they can achieve their dreams with a little help from a friend... moi.
Needless to say, at this point, I felt like utter shite. Who was I to advise them on how to be awesome? I was barely holding together my awesomeness... or what was now seeming to be perceived awesomeness.
As the post-punk bards started thrashing around loudly in the garage that was hooked up to the venue, I found myself surrounded by 20-somethings, hipster grab on parade, all trying to look thoughtful with their notebooks.
I wanted to grab a big chalkboard sign and put some other shit on parade for a minute:
Don't write because you want to be rich or famous. Write because you have something to say.
I have LOTS to say! I have sooooo much help to give. And yet, because in my intial project proposal (and on this blog) I openly stated that one of the goals of all of this writing is to be able to meet two people I super admire, Mindy Kaling and/or Tina Fey, this would seem to diminish my worthwhile goals?
I wanted to say that lofty goals are put out there because they keep you going. And just because I wanted cool things didn't mean I couldn't do a lot of cool things for cool people along the way.
So, with those goals in mind, did that mean my meaningful contribution to the creative arena at large was a farce? Did I seem like I was just grubbing for gaudy homies?
No. No, it didn't.
Reason: I'm willing to work my ass off whilst helping as many humans as possible in order to become a better human.
If I wanted fame, I could find an easier way that staying up all night writing shit. If I wanted fortune, I'd go get a higher payin' job. If I wanted celebrity, I'd get my fat ass on a f*ckin' reality show! Lord knows I have the personality for one.
There are plenty of people who I admire that write things I enjoy consuming. But my favourite books are written with something to say other than "Look at me, I'm cool." They often say "I wasn't cool. I got a little better with a lot of hard work."
THAT, my friends, is why I kept typing. Those wise words from Mindy Kaling and my introvert twin, Meredith Smith. She's like the Amy Poehler to my Tina Fey.
I poured out my sad-faceness about my current inner dilemma and she did what she does best: present facts logically in order to prove a theorem.
In this instance, her theorem revolved around me being a "crafty guru" that belonged in her circle of experts.
Her logic for dismissing my insecure self-talk were sound. Her evidence regarding my methods and their effects on people who were trying to figure themselves out have been shown time and time again in people I have helped for almost a decade.
She was right. I wasn't doing this for money or fame (although I do want to leave a legacy for my son that shows his momma worked f*ckin' HARD to get him things by helping others), but it would be sweet if those things came along with it.
I'm writing this book in spite of my puny self-esteem. I'm writing it on tiny screens and on pump-breaks at work. I'm writing and researching it while I work out 3 times a day and lull my baby to sleep. I'm putting in so much work on meeting people I can help and learn from, sometimes I forget I need to spend time with my kid!
When I realized how much of myself I've been pouring into this book, I knew Meredith was right.
Haters gonna hate, but makers gotta make, b*tches.