I just recently finished listening to the audiobook version of Nick Offerman’s Paddle Your Own Canoe (which I called Build Your Own Canoe for at least a week before realizing my mistake) and discovered something truly horrible about myself: I suck royally at follow-through.
Like … I really suck at it.
Now, the concept is not surprising to me; I’ve been painfully aware of this trait of mine for years and have even joked about it on occasion. I look at October’s failed Inktober, my abandoned novella series and scripted television series/comic book, my painting, my knitting/crocheting … This list just keeps getting longer and longer, and so much of it stems from fear. Both fear of being rejected and fear of actually succeeding, probably.
But something in me snapped when I heard Offerman read his own words back at me in that mellifluous voice of his. I decided in that moment that I wasn’t going to be that person who refuses to change my behavior because it’s “just who I am.” The ex used that excuse countless numbers of times during our now-finished marriage, and I’ll be damned if that’s the lesson I take away from that experience.
So I looked at myself in the mirror and said aloud that I was done being that person. The person that gave up the second things were no longer easy. The person who thought making one stab into the world of publishing (and being rejected) was enough to say she’d done something to further her “career” as a writer. No, I was going to do the shit.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still terrified. And I have no idea how to do this. But dammit, I am a woman who has gone to the gym after a ten-hour night shift because she wants to get back into shape, who actually won NaNoWriMo after how many years, who left her abusive husband to restart her life. Have I had an easy past four years? No, but that’s not an excuse any longer.