If It's Going to Be, It's up to Me
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
It’s the last day of March and as I’m looking back at my post from February 15th, I realize it’s been over a month since I sat down to write for my website. The last six months I have been working on a book proposal for Hay House’s Writer’s Workshop contest. February and March felt like serious crunch time so I spent most, if not all of my free time, writing and trying to perfect my proposal. The whole experience was both the most rewarding achievement I have ever set out to accomplish and undoubtedly the most aggravating. Quite frankly, I went a little nuts over the last month. One day I would read my proposal and absolutely love it, while the next I would ask myself who I thought I was for attempting to write a book at all.
Every morning I would wake up extra early before work to write another chapter, just to look at the clock and realize I spent three hours on one paragraph, or I’ll be honest, writing Instagram and Facebook posts instead. These mornings would leave me feeling grumpy and useless before work, just to come home eight hours later at night, to endeavor to write some more. On the rare occasion, six to nine pages would flow onto the page. More times than none, I would look to the clock to see how much time I spent just staring at the computer screen. Did I say this was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life? I’ll get to that in a moment.
I never ventured to write something as large as a book proposal before. My longest pieces of writing were always college essays and lengthy blog posts. The thought of writing even 25 pages was a weight pressing down on the center of my chest and a psychopath tap dancing in circles at the forefront of my mind, (me being the psycho). I got so caught up in the angst of finishing it on time that I turned myself into quite a bit of a mess - scrambling here and there for just the perfect words to complete my submission.
So where is the beauty and gratifying component in all of this? Despite my hectic portrayal of the last few months, there were some fulfilling moments where I took a step outside of myself and imagined that I was sixteen years old getting a ten year glimpse into the future. As I was writing, beside me was my former teen self watching - thrilled at the fact that her future entailed setting out to achieve her goals by writing her first book. When I took myself out of the panic of it all and saw the process simply as it was, birthing life into my dreams, it didn’t seem all that distressing. Even if I didn’t win the contest, I was doing something that my ego said I would never actually do - discipline myself to write every day and finish the book proposal by the contest’s deadline.
To be honest, I was hesitant to write this blog post today because if I told a lot of people that I entered a book contest, it would also mean that I would have to tell them if I lost. But then I realized, yet again, that these thoughts were all still centered in fear, doubt and skepticism. I wanted to write this post because as I walked over to my desk this morning, I saw the piece of paper outlining Hay House’s guidelines for the contest laying on top of some notebooks. Before the deadline, that piece of paper was a stress inducer, whereas now that I completed it, it is a symbol of persistence, dedication, hard work, and most of all, believing in myself.
There have been so many times in my life where I said I wanted to do certain things but never actually did them. I would talk about them until the sun went down but I never physically took any steps to manifest what I wanted. There is a very big chance that I don’t win this contest but there is also a very big chance that I do. Regardless of the outcome, I feel unbelievably relieved and satisfied that I started writing my first book in the face of my own self-doubt and criticism. Back in September when I attended Hay House’s Writer’s Workshop, some of the presenting authors repeatedly said that action dissipates uncertainty and that “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me.”
I want to stop saying that I’m going to do something without taking action and I want to quit blabbering just to consume the silence. I want to believe in myself more than anything or anyone else and I want to trust that it is in my power to achieve my goals. I realized through this whole process that with just a little time and effort each day, I will be closer to my goals than I was yesterday. The old saying is really true, "if it’s going to be it’s up to me" – and if it’s up to me, I choose to create in my life all that I want for myself. There is such beauty and power simply in that.
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