I have started writing my memoir. Last week, I sat down with my notebook and a rollerball pen in a local coffee shop. After drinking a chai tea with almond milk, I picked up the pen to write. Two hours later, I had 15 pages longhand.
Thinking of myself as an author is a new experience for me. I have always enjoyed writing, but I never really considered putting my love of the written word to use as a published author. I’ve read the books on writing, taken writing classes with published authors and worked on a college newspaper. Many of my colleagues from The Nassau Weekly went on to write for nationals, such as Slate.com, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
I didn’t even try to have a career in journalism or publishing. I traveled the safer road—nonprofit work, teaching, and then consulting and training. I think I would have remained on the “safe road” if I hadn’t been diagnosed with lupus. For once, I was limited in what my physical body could do. No longer could I wake up early, go to the gym, work a full day, go to church and then hang out with friends for hours, getting about 5-6 hours of sleep. My body needed rest, and I had to learn how to prioritize.
Lupus also led me to yoga, which has become my passion and purpose. I’m in an advanced yoga teacher training, because I want to be an even better teacher. And it was in my ATT program that I discovered The Artist Way. The last few weeks doing its assignments have helped me to rediscover my dream of writing and publishing.
But I am terrified. Where will I find the time to write? How will I support myself as a writer? What if I never finish my memoir? Or even if I do, what are the chances I can find someone who wants to publish it? These questions, these doubts, have been coming fast and furious the last few days. According to Julia Cameron, that is to be expected.
At the same time, my heart is resisting those doubts. After years of denying its true desires, it finally has given full vent to my dreams. When the doubts come, my heart reminds me that it is happy to finally be able to express itself. My heart doesn’t want to go back into that box and shut back off.
I’m a big advocate of goal setting and monitoring one’s progress toward those goals. I can’t commit to finishing my memoir. I’m not quite sure that I have that much faith yet. But I can commit to blocking two hours out of my schedule each week. I have chosen Friday afternoons between 1-3. I will sit at my computer or with my notebook and pen in hand, and I will write. It may be trash. I may not like it. No one else may ever see it. But I will write.
Is there something that your heart cries out to do, but your brain keeps ignoring it? Do you have a big dream that you have been avoiding?
Figure out some small thing—one tiny, little, teeny weeny step—that you can take toward that goal in the next week. And then do it, no matter how many distractions, excuses or obstacles arise. When you take that first step, it is easier to take all the ones that need to follow it.
I’ll keep sharing about my journey to becoming a published author in Musings, my weekly blog post. I hope to get it to you each Friday. Please join me on the road to discovering your true self, and nurturing it with all that it needs.
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.