Today, I’m sitting here thinking, “What a difference a year makes!”
This time last year, I was having a crisis of creativity. I had a pretty decent case of post-partum depression and was struggling with Tired Mommy Syndrome. My thyroid was jacked. We’d just lost my mother-in-law… It was Sob Story City at the Hansen House.
I wasn’t writing AT ALL and had no idea how to get back to the page. I bought myself a Julia Cameron book as an early Christmas present and read for 20 magic minutes a day. Every day, for several weeks…two chapters over morning coffee.
Note: The book’s called The Sound of Paper — run, don’t walk, to get your hands on this if you’re a struggling writer!
On December 30, 2010, I had the following epiphany:
When you aren’t sure what to do…do something.
Even if what you’re doing isn’t “THE” thing, you are out there showing up each day
so you will be ready when the perfect thing comes along.
(For me, that perfect thing was Kristen Lamb’s class, which led me to create More Cowbell.)
That dark December day, I realized that all I had to do for the muse to come was SHOW UP. (WTF? That’s it??!!)
Yes indeedy, that’s it. Every writer knows the entire writing universe revolves around the phrase, “butt in chair,” so why is it so dang hard to do it?? I can’t speak for others, but for me the root of the problem was this:
Somehow I’d become convinced that I had to build a writing temple, a schedule, a process or some sort of structure, all so the muse would have a destination to show up TO (and yes, I became aware how colossally dumb that sounds once I wrote it out loud).
Anyone who tells you your baby steps don’t matter needs to spend a little more time taking them. They DO matter.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to the last year:
- Jan 5, 2011 – Show Up For Your Writing, my epiphany in black and white at Writers In The Storm
- Jan 6, 2011 – Joined Twitter
- Feb 7, 2011 – Discovered Kristen Lamb with this post (Wowza!)
- March, 2011 – Took Kristen Lamb’s class Blogging To Build Your Author Brand
- Apr 1, 2011 – Official Launch of More Cowbell
- July, 2011 – Joined ROW80 for Round 3
- July, 2011 – Joined Life List Club and created a Life List
- Oct 5, 2011 – Co-hosted 1st ROCK THE ROW Twitter Party with Nicole Basaraba
- October, 2011 – The Undie Chronicles hit the scene
- November, 2011 – Answered Roni Loren’s call to Triberr
- December, 2011 – I signed up to sponsor ROW80’s Round 1 in 2012
- Dec 30, 2011 – I celebrated my 2nd Life List Club milestone and my 200th post.
That’s like 12 pivotal steps that, on their own, might not have amounted to much. All together, they blow my mind a little. The biggest thing I noticed, besides how quick those dang baby steps accumulate is how many people it took to support my journey.
The sheer number of people who will enrich your world if you embrace your passion will stun you. Again, don’t take my word for it, let’s count ’em up!
- The other 4 founding members of Writers In The Storm
- Elizabeth Craig, my first friend on Twitter (have you seen Twitterific??!)
- Kristen Lamb – my funny, wonderful writing ninja friend & mentor
- The 15 people in Kristen’s class with me (Amy Shojai & Tiffany White are two of my co-grads for this WANA311 class who have AMAZING blogs!!)
- Kait Nolan and the writers who are chasing their dreams through ROW80
- Jess Witkins & Marcia Richards who founded the Life List Club
- Plus all the other LLC members I’ve met and blog hopped with
- Every single WANA class that came after mine (like HUNDREDS of Kristen-grads)
- Margie Lawson, her daughter Tiffany Lawson Inman (NakedEditor) and all the Margie-grads who hang here
- Roni Loren and the Triberr posse (I PROMISE to discuss this in a future post!)
More Cowbell wouldn’t be so much fun for me without all these people.
Did I work hard? Hell yes!
Did it feel like work? Absolutely not! It felt like playing with all my pals.
Whether you’re a writer or not, I know you have goals in your life that feel so daunting you just want to hide in the closet with your chocolate stash. I soooo feel your pain.
But here today, in this first week of the year, can you think of just one step you can take that will start you on the road to that dream you want more than anything else? Will you share it? Enquiring minds always love to know these things here at More Cowbell!