When writing a book you need to be unstoppable or you will become extremely stoppable. Time will stop you, money will stop you, cleaning will stop you, other people’s priorities will stop you.
I speak from experience. This is why people hire me.
These are the manifestations of a belief system that says your book, your words, your unique contribution to this world is not a priority.
The muscle of believing in yourself gets stronger with practice. This is a habit you can cultivate. It’s not one triumphant moment of fireworks. It’s the simple act of jumping out of the shower and writing down an idea while dripping wet and naked. It means keeping a pen and paper on the nightstand so you can sketch out the thoughts that wake you up from dreams. It means reserving an hour or two a week in a cafe to scribble down your progress, just as you would to take your kids to a birthday, or stay late at work if your boss asked. You deserve your own time as much as anybody else.
Your soul purpose may not be saving the dolphins or ending poverty, it may not seem extraordinary at first, but I promise it is saving the world. Even if it’s a comic. Even if it’s a super sexy romance novel. Even if it’s a memoir that makes you feel really self-conscious. Trust it.
What’s important is that it’s something you’ve been called to do from inside.
Now if you’re struggling with a lingering belief system where everyone else comes first, or money comes first, or creativity isn’t practical, you’re going to have to Miyagi this (Google wax on wax off).
Your life does fit a larger plan, but in order to align with that plan you need to open the channel for the internal messaging system. If you have beliefs that are preventing you from listening to your inner voice, following this first project will make you conscious of those beliefs and help you move past them.
I remember when I was a preschool teacher, a new colleague remarked that we weren’t just responsible for the child’s education, but also for saving their immortal souls by helping them to accept Jesus into their hearts.
She was so earnest in her desire to save children, and from the outside what could be a better soul purpose, but what ensued during the year that followed was painful to watch. Her belief system was at war with the world around her.
Nowadays we’re often smug about people who are on a mission to convert everybody to a specific religious institution, and yet from another perspective we’re all doing that all the time. We all have beliefs that we’ve picked up from outside of us, and we think they’re keeping us safe or “saved.”
For instance, a few years ago, if you would have told me to rest, I would have come at you with a bazooka of “My work ethic and ability to drink loads of coffee and meet every deadline even if I hate what I’m doing keeps food in my child’s mouth…”
Now, you weren’t asking me to starve my child, obviously, you were just asking me to slow down. However, I had a firmly held belief system that hard work was the only way to survive, and everyone who didn’t work hard would suffer, and everyone who did work hard would be saved. Much like a religious institution.
Simply by taking one step at a time, writing my book and honoring my inner voice, I was able to see that my frantic work pace was harming my family much more than it was helping them. One step at a time, I started to change. And sure enough my child had something to eat every single day, even as I was taking time to write.
I could not have made that shift suddenly, it had to happen organically by creating this new book in my life. I don’t know what you’ll discover as you write your book, but I do know that it will open you up to your true purpose in this world. This is why the act of writing a book is an act of awakening.
It’s also the reason that writing a book is hard. After all, writing down words on paper isn’t difficult, nor does it take a lot of time. The meaning is what distinguishes it from the list making, forms and post-its that we scribble off every day.
Therefore, your WHY is important. It’s a communication that rises up from deep within, deeper than all the noise that distracts you. It’s the manifestation of your true voice. The one thing that’s lasted through the years, long after all the daily grocery lists have been checked off.
Life can be full of busy work, a.k.a. meaningless action. Meaning is the compass that will help you understand what you were born to do in this life. Let’s start with what I call the “Umbrella Why.”
I call it “umbrella why,” not only because it has this fabulous expandable and collapsible feature, but also because it has the weather durable circumference to cover your entire project. The task itself is pretty straight forward. At the top of the page, write the working title of your project and then answer the following question: Why are you writing this?
A. In one word.
B. In one sentence.
C. In one paragraph.
D. In one page.
Don’t write the thing the world wants you to write. Just write to your own edge. The work that wants to be born out of your soul.