On Friday I finished my first draft, and certain people (those that have successfully published book after book) believe that after a first draft you need to put it aside to allow the story to marinate in your subconscious. Yep, I’m up for that, I am in need of a break. However, they also say keep writing, move onto the next thing, keep producing words.
Words of what I wondered.
“What do you want to say?”
It was a voice in my head asking this question as I wondered how to fill in my writing time.
I have moments where I have things to say, but when that question was posed front and centre to me so directly, I was stripped off all answers. What do I want to say? Everything and nothing. Writing about what other people don’t while not exposing myself, too much.
I closed my eyes and pictured myself being thrown onto a stage in front of a large audience. Standing there, alone, spotlights on me, microphone in my face, looking out at a sea of blank faces. Someone coughs. Another shuffles their feet. A door opens and heels clack on the floor as a woman rushes in late. All eyes on me. Well, not quite all. Several people are looking at their phones. I want to tell them to put the phone down. Either you want to hear me talk or you want to do whatever it is you are doing on the phone. Make a choice you don’t get both.
Ok, probably a bit too aggressive to start a speech. However I want to pick up their phones and throw them out a window. “Get a life” I want to tell them. “Stop taking pictures of yourself and waiting for your fan base to gush how amazing you look”. There is a real world you could step into. Believe me I know. I was like that. I didn’t live through my phone but through my head. Dreaming of the life I wanted, sculpting it down to every fine detail. That life was amazing and I enjoyed spending time living that life. In my head. But that was the thing. At some point I had to return to reality. My fantasy life popping like a balloon.
Wouldn’t that life happen one day? I was dreaming it wasn’t I? Putting it out into the universe as ‘they’ say. That’s the fun part. It’s easy to sit back and wait for those dreams to come to you. Except they don’t because the thing about real life is nothing changes unless you do something about that change. The unpopular ‘take action’ part of the equation. People don’t want to hear that because it means doing something and who wants to do anything. Who even has the time or the energy. Why won’t my dream life enter through my door, neatly packaged and delivered on time. Of course it never will. I could spend my lifetime waiting and it still wouldn’t show. Unless I take action.
Finally, I stepped out of my head. I sat down at my desk, pulled out one of the many stories that swirl around in there and began. Things started to change. Little by little. My story was taking shape and the word count hit numbers I never thought possible. Suddenly the toiling was done. Finished. Now, in real life, I have grabbed the rope of my dream life and I’m dangling on, yanking on the dream and slowly bringing it down into the real world.
Please stop putting up motivating quotes and using effort and energy into making it look like you have your dream life on social media. Go and chase it. The universe rewards action. Doing. You need to show the universe you are committed. Show you are taking responsibility for what you want. You have to prove yourself first. Put the phone down and take some action.
Back on the stage, did anyone listen? Or was this talk for me? I take a bow, I’m done. That’s what I want to say. For today anyway. Maybe tomorrow when I am thrown back onto that stage, I will be inclined to say something else. But today, that dream of yours, produce it.