I've been here before. At that point in a project where I want to run from it. Burn every last page I have written to assure that any trace it ever existed vanishes. Fire I find, is more satisfying that simply hitting the move to trash prompt. Fire does not allow me the leeway to reconsider and drag it back out of the trash and onto my desktop.
That is where I have been this week as I struggle for satisfaction with the last few pages of this part guide, part manifesto on how to create more time for your life. I've tried to trick myself by pretending that rather than a full length book, this is like writing a very long blog. My hope being that I would see less pressure to getting it perfect. I found myself filled with all those demons that when I started this I had forgotten existed. Who am I to write about this subject? Why do I think anyone will care?
As I said, I've been here before so I know better than to listen to those little fiends. Instead I kept taking the steps to assure I keep moving forward. I spoke to my cover designer. I emailed my interior designer. I reached out to the copyeditors. I set deadlines for myself. And then when I knew I needed outside inspiration, I literally took a page from my own book and stopped. I set the timer for sixty minutes and opened my Kindle App. And I read.
The Universe apparently was winning the war with my demons because it led me to open Poke the Box, a manifesto by Seth Godin about starting.
You may wonder how a manifesto about starting could help someone who was trying to finish. You'll have to read it yourself to completely understand but I assure you it did.
Most of us think we have nothing of importance to say or that raising our hand and standing up for something, however big or small it is, will not make a difference. And therein lies the problems in our world.
Seth wrote, "We're trained to fit in, not to stand out, and the easiest way in the world to fit in is to never initiate."
That's when I got it. The demons that have been fighting for air time in my head are the ones who want me to fit in, to hide, and to accept the status quo. And the struggle for those last pages, which as it turns out are the first pages, have been the demons trying to get me to quiet my voice and keep me still.
Guess whose winning now?