I posted recently about the fact that I wrote a book that will be released to the public in Spring of 2014.
What I didn’t mention was the time that it took me to write the book.
Or how I landed my publishing deal.
Whether or not I had an agent and how the whole thing came to be.
In my life there are times when I’ve walked the walk, and other times when I’ve talked the talk but found the walking part to be a little more difficult than I imagined. Maybe I didn’t have the guts to walk the walk. Maybe I truly and sincerely couldn’t.
Because life throws shit at you that you’re not always ready to catch.
Sometimes, sure, Missy Ego gets in the way but sometimes there are very real obstacles that must be overcome before you can walk to the walk.
For example, sometimes you want to be a fashion designer but you can’t spend your day sewing because you’re a single-mom with no support whatsoever and you’ve got bills that don’t pay themselves.
You don’t have any formal fashion design training but know how to use a sewing machine, but not all the technical terms or the fancy stuff that folks learn in design school.
What you have is your creativity, your desire and real life.
But you can’t even afford fabric.
Does that mean that your dreams of being a fashion designer can’t be actualized?
Of course not.
But talking the talk alone isn’t going to get you there.
What it takes is action but sometimes talking the talk is the first step that will eventually lead to action. Sometimes talking the talk is all you have.
When I first started writing it was a fluke. I didn’t write with the intention of writing a book.
I wrote because writing was cathartic and I had something I wanted to say. Needed to say. Then one day I realized that I wanted to write a book.
I wanted to tell my story. I wanted to have someone read my story.
So, when I started writing a book I started calling myself a writer. Reluctantly and softly and only to those who felt safe.
Queue Missy Ego starting to whisper her
sweet nothings into my ear; all that negative talk to throw me off my game.
Missy Ego told me I wasn’t a writer because I hadn’t written any books, had no fancy English degree, hadn’t interned anywhere and hadn’t published anything unless you count a few poems in school anthologies.
But I started calling myself a writer and technically I was a writer because I was writing. Writers write shit and I was writing shit (good shit, IMVHO).
I started on the path. I was researching agents and reworking chapters, and learning how to write a synopsis and query letters.
I was no longer crawling around like a baby. I was pulling up and standing. I wasn’t walking but I was starting to take steps holding on.
My book wasn’t finished. I wasn’t sure where it was going. I wasn’t sure if it was going but I acted on blind faith.
My mom told me I was on to something and she never steered me wrong before so I went with it. I could get a book deal before I had even finished a book, she assured me. (‘Cause moms are awesome like that.)
So, I queried, wrote and emailed chapters like a fool confident I would receive a glowing response in little to no time.
Then there was nothing.
No one seemed interested in my story. I lost interest in my story, or perhaps told myself that it wasn’t such a great story anyway.
Finding the time to write got harder and harder. I worked two long trials back-to-back and barely saw my kids let alone thought about writing.
(I’m a mild-mannered paralegal by day, if you’re wondering about my alter-ego.)
Then I got sick. My marriage was rocky and life was thrown inside out, upside down and side to side. I wasn’t even sure who I was let alone what I was doing.
So, I stopped trying to walk and was just talking the talk.
I started to look outside of myself for reassurance. I needed someone to validate what I was doing and tell me that I wasn’t just talking the talk. I needed someone to give me permission to believe in myself, as crazy as it sounds.
Someone who wasn’t my mom because, let’s face it, moms aren’t always known for being impartial.
I love my friends. I have some of the best friends in the world but most didn’t read the chapters that I emailed them. (And many of them still haven’t and that’s okay.)
I waited with baited breath for confirmation that I was, indeed, walking the walk. Only a few women from my online mommy group responded with comments and suggestions which I totally appreciated.
After that, I completely lost my footing.
Maybe I wasn’t a writer after all. Maybe I was just talking the talk.
For all of us there comes a point when we will be at a crossroads between moving towards what we want and really owning what we’re seeking, dreaming and hoping for.
Or we can tell everyone we’re writing a book but never have it materialize. We can be one of those people who always talks about the book they’re going to write “someday” or “when.”
Sometimes we have to talk the talk for quite some time before we can walk the walk. We say it to anyone who will listen to validate it to ourselves. To talk it into being. And that’s okay.
It took me awhile of talking the talk before I started walking the walk.
It took me awhile of talking the talk before going back to my story and the reason I even started writing it in the first place.
I went back to a place of love.
I started to write again because I had left the story unfinished and it needed to be told. I still needed to tell it, even if only for myself.
I made the conscious decision that I would walk the walk. I would write from a place of honesty and complete vulnerability. I would set a target and I would walk until I got there. I would stop looking outside myself for validation and just believe that eventually I would get somewhere.
No matter how long and no matter how far I had to walk.
I grabbed hold of my fears and used them like a coffee table to pull myself up until I stood on two feet, let go and started to walk.
It is the talking that led me here. The talking when I couldn’t or wouldn’t write. When I didn’t know how to walk the walk.
I don’t by any means have all the answers. I am still shaky, wobbly on two feet. But I am moving forward.
I talked it into being. And so can you.
Are you talking the talk or walking the walk? Please share your thoughts in the comments!