A Coffee and Some Courage Friday
Before I get started, here is my handy tip of the day: Do not sync your smartphone or tablet while working on getting a blog post together. It’s super-distracting, particularly when you remember you need to get the Christmas music off your device(s) because you really don’t want to hear “Good King Wenceslas” (no matter how delightful the Relient K rendition is) in February. Or January. Or in any month not beginning with the letter “d”.
Now that I have that little PSA (you’re welcome!) out of the way, here’s the thing. I am, oddly enough, feeling this month more “let’s get going and Do Things” in a way I normally associate with the official calendar start of a new year. But this January, there was not tons of “oomph” in terms of goal setting and year planning/dreaming/hoping. I simply could not seem to get my head around making changes and tackling projects and the like. Granted, there were some outside factors coming strongly into play. My dad had spent a fair bit of December in the hospital (he’s out and doing well now, thanks!); my job supplied a steady stream of Panic Projects until, oh, last week; I’ve been working at getting into a regular exercise routine again. You know – life was (and is) happening.
But now the dust has more or less settled, I’m looking around my house and heart and head and wondering, “What’s next?” Where should I be going? Where do I want to go? Do? See? Become? And it has been in the last couple of weeks I’m starting to sift through those thoughts, spurred on by the following guideposts, if you will:
Dear You Who Doesn’t Want to Do That Hard Thing by Ann Voskamp: Ann’s words are often a balm for my soul that manage to sooth and strengthen simultaneously. And I often don’t want to do hard things. What if I fail? What if I embarrass myself? Or totally do the wrong thing and waste a whole whack of time and effort? It’s an effectively immobilizing thought process. But then Ann says, “Fire your perfectionism and your procrastination will quit too.” And then I find the word “yes” doing all sorts of happy cartwheels in my head and in my heart. Thank you, Ann.
You’re Never Going to Be Fully Ready by Shauna Niequist: Wait … what? But Shauna, you don’t understand! I need to be fully prepared – better than a Boy Scout – before I can move ahead with Any of the Things! << Seriously, that’s how I often act. Then I read things like, “forward motion brings stability” and (to paraphrase), “You’ll never Know All the Things, so just get going already” and I realize I need to edit the script I’ve been dutifully memorizing. Thank you, Shauna.
On Becoming a Writer by Jen Hatmaker: I’ve been reading a few articles lately where I’ve taken away tidbits like “Not everyone is a writer, so quit fooling yourself”; “You may be a writer, but don’t expect to make it your day job in any way, shape, or form”; “Just leave the work of writing us here professionals”. I’m not saying that was the intended message of the pieces, but it’s what I heard. Now I do know writing is hard work. It’s not everyone’s forte in a “do it professionally” sort of a way. And it’s not always going to pay the bills. Many, many writers – published authors even – have other jobs. But sometimes well-intended and practical advice can beat a person down. Which is why I needed to hear from someone who has “been there, still doing that” world of writing say, “The world always needs good writing. There is room for you.” It’s not going to be easy or necessarily work out how I want it to, but there is room (and perhaps even a need) for my words to be shared. Thank you, Jen.
You know what all the words these women have shared do for me? They give me courage to share, to dream, to hope. It’s a good way to close out the week, no?
Happy Friday, all!