Start anywhere, just begin,
Why now? Why these stories?
Because this book and these stories have been getting my time, my money and my attention for far too long. Over 7 years in fact. If you’ve known me for any considerable amount of time you know I want to write a book, and if we’ve only recently I may have brought up that I love to write.
I’ve hired coaches for long lengths of time, short lengths of time, I’ve joined writing groups, I’ve joined programs, I’ve done writing space clearing ceremonies, I’ve talked to psychics about the deal is and I’ve even asked the writing Gods to help. And sure I keep starting strong, but then I also keep stopping with the same fire as I began. My stopping comes out of fear of pissing people off, fear of sharing my truth, a disbelief in myself, or not feeling worthy enough to share what’s happened. And I stop cold, and put what I’ve written somewhere in a Google doc drive, and I forget about it.
And then like clock work the desire to write races back into my thoughts again and again and again, and competes with attention in my now moment. I could just press the repeat button on what happens. It’s exhausting and expensive to keep giving my power to a coach or not prioritizing my time to allow for my writing to come through.
If that’s not bad enough, I notice I can get jealous of other people following through on their dreams and goals, particularly if it’s their first book. I can see that I let others’ wins take the wind out of the sails of MY book. It’s almost funny to really get REAL with how much I’ve been in my own way.Just last Sunday after I taught yoga class, my husband invited me into his zen den to show me something he’d created the night before while I slept that he was excited about. I was a little dazed and ungrounded after class and I’d just mentioned to everyone that the “the lions gate”, an astrological phenomena unfolding July 26 to August 12 was happening, thus making everything feel a little more sensitive, so I stressed the importance of staying rooted in love.
Well when I walked in and looked at the wall in Adam’s man cave, I saw he had taken the 12 square pieces of sticky bulletin board we’d just gotten at Walmart in the states, and had placed them neatly together in rows and columns. He’d just created his first story board for HIS book.
I wanted to be over the moon for him, and turn to him and give him a huge kiss and tell him how proud I was of his progress. But nope, that’s not what happened. Instead I made his success about me, and got mad he’d used all the story board to do exactly what I told him I wanted to do for my stories when we bought it.
But here’s the thing; I saw my reaction unfolding live and I even saw where I wanted to be. It was like the joyful supportive Harriet was standing on one side of the room and the resentful jealous, victim Harriet was coming in hot from the other side. And the latter Harriet won, for about 20 min.
I was tense, my breathing was short and I couldn’t even hear Adam speak. I think he was trying to reason with me and get me to snap me out of this mental detour from the moment I’d just departed on.
We went upstairs, he sat me down and he made me talk through exactly what I was mad about.
It wasn’t that he used all the cork board. And it wasn’t that he had created a landing pad for his book. And it wasn’t that I don’t want him to be successful in whatever he begins. It was that it shined light on the reality that I haven’t followed through with my goal and I’d made the excuse that if I just had a story board of my own, I’d have done it.
In fact, after our discussion about what I thought I needed to begin, and what I thought he’d taken from me, Adam initiated a solution and he moved some things around on the upstairs wall and created a designated desk space and mini storyboard for me. The idea was that if I had the story board, my story would fall out of me. Well it’s now been a week later and I’ve pinned up a picture of Aurora, a note I want to drop off to someone, and a check I need to deposit on the cork board intended for my writing. Sigh.
But I have made some progress; I’ve gone through my old documents, most of which I don’t remember writing, and I’ve gathered them all in one Google drive folder. I’ve also set up a bi weekly accountability meeting with my friend Mary Julia and last, I’ve created THIS writing space.
It’s time to really follow through with what I keep starting and embrace that sharing this first collection of stories has needed to take until this very moment to begin. I’m not late, it shouldn’t have happened another way and sharing on here that I’m ready. Everything I’ve been through contributed to this now. It’s time to show up for my story, show up for myself and show Aurora what can come from relentlessly following your heart and the beat of your own drum.
And so it has begun. A dive into my writing, and I’m taking it 1 day at a time. Sure it would be nice to write every day, but I’m not going to put that pressure on myself. My goal is to show up as often as I can and to create at least 1000 words per sitting. Let’s see what happens.
Much Love, Harriet McEntire Lanka
*And yes the above is EXACTLY 1000 words
And so it has begun. A 3 month dive into my writing