I followed my dream. I have always loved writing. First I didn’t think I had anything to share. Then I was scared to share my story when I realized, I did, in fact, have a giant fucking story to share.
Then I talked about writing a book…
People kept asking me about a book…
I started a blog (this one)…
I hesitated on the book. I didn’t want THAT to be what people knew about me. What if I regretted it? Putting it out there? What if I changed my mind or it wasn’t good or I couldn’t write at all and no one bought it and I lost my family and friends because everyone thinks I’m a weirdo…
So… yeah… just a few random overthinking thoughts…
Then I just wrote. I picked up my book, opened to a fresh page… a pink one… “well behaved women rarely make history” on the cover to remind me that I’m not here to keep the peace, play nice, be a fucking ornament.
So I wrote. And I wrote. And I wrote.
And then I didn’t like that draft. It seemed like a good sob story of everything that had gone wrong in my life but didn’t have a bigger purpose. I laid it aside, knowing I would come back to it when the time is right.
And I did. But this time I did my wild woman wisdom check in… meditation, journeying, journalling and I came up with the purpose of the book – the 10 steps of unfucking my life from the awakening to the reclaiming… not just a chronological series of events but a book that takes you on your own journey, teaches, inspires, breaks you down and rebuilds you as you read it.
And a lot of my personal stories are shared in the book.
I wrote and wrote and wrote.
3 Drafts until I was ready, happy “enough” with it and started the publishing process. Inquiry after inquiry. Letter after letter. Hopelessness set in. I kept seeing the image of my book “with wings” – let it go, let it fly. Conversation after conversation told that it could take years to get a traditional publishing deal.
You need an agent in most cases, and finding one of those is like finding a needle in a haystack. Only agents can send your manuscripts to many of the publishing houses. So…
And the ones who are accepting manuscripts? Up to 6 months to get a response…
And here I thought the hardest part of publishing a book was going to be the writing the story. Turns out it was the easiest part. But I kept reminding myself of what I teach – what if there is an easier way. What if it’s possible to get in front of publishers without having to do years of road pounding? Is that cutting the corners, not doing “the work?”
I didn’t think so. I thought of self publishing but it didn’t “feel” right. Not that there’s anything wrong with it and it’s a viable option. I just kept feeling like it wasn’t the way to go. And one thing I’ve learned to listen to is my feelings.
And then I found publisher. A crowdfunding literary campaign – pre-sell your work and be pitched to publishers based on the number of books you sell. It seems like a good fit. So I went for it. I had seen it a few times and realize I had been praying for an alternative and here it was.
I could decide to jump, to give my book wings and believe in, take a risk, take a chance and believe it could happen. So I did. And I was overwhelmed with support. For 1 day. Over 100 copies sold immediately.
Then my inner critic showed up. Why would anyone support me? Maybe I’m not that good? Maybe I should have stuck to the traditional route? Maybe this book is doomed. Maybe I’m not worth supporting…
You know that inner critic right? The ones that shows up when you are outside your comfort zone and there’s no safety net and you’re free falling? The one that tells you should have had a parachute, the ones that tells you shouldn’t have jumped in the first place… the one that you’re an embarrassment… the one that goes on and on and on until you’re a sobbing mess in a ball of shame.
As I worked through the deep layers of shame I was feeling – shame for asking for help, shame for not “achieving the landmark goals I set”, shame for asking, again and again, for help, shame for the content…
Shame shame shame.
It was everywhere.
And I uncovered some deep stories about me and about people. I uncovered some deep shame about asking for help. I uncovered deep shame about sharing my story, existing really.
It was just shame overload.
Until I realized how programmed we are to play it safe and play it small. These feelings are the feelings we avoid. Growth and going after what you want is hard. And this taught that me something that makes us visible, seen, really seen, is even harder.
Even though I’m a risk taker compared to many, I still choose safe. I still only go after 1/2 of what I want because what I really want is too scary. This book and my inability to go back, even when I so desperately wanted to sink into the floor and be swallowed, when I wanted to run… fuck, when I still want to run… has forced growth in a way nothing else could.
And I realized, sitting in the trees, where I do most of my good reflection, that when we want something we’ve got to fight for it, fight like we’ve never fought before. Our biggest dreams and our truest purpose will ask more of us than anything else.
And I realized with this book and the publication process just how much I give up … how much I still awfulize and throw in the towel and whine about it not working… how easy I want it to be and how much I don’t push through that glass ceiling.
I let shame of something not working, shame of what others might think, comments people make, what I think people are thinking, get in my way.
And I know I’m not alone here.
It brought me to a new level. A level nothing else could have gotten me to. Because nothing else I’ve done in my life has been as scary and important and real and raw and soul based and ME than this project.
This is being stepping out. This is me fighting for myself. This is me reclaiming my path. This is me picking up my sword. This is me fighting for my inner power. This is me believing in myself. This is me not waiting for permission or approval. This is me not pulling back, not going away, not giving up.
This is me owning what I want to do, fighting for my dream and believing 110% that this is the path I’m meant to take… to share this story… because I know there are other people out there living a half life like I was… living for other people’s expectations and approval, putting up with bullshit, dulling yourself, changing yourself to fit and change.
If I can share one thing from this experience it’s this – when you want something more for you life and when the desire to run and hide creeps upon you, and it will, run into it. Explore it. Fall to the floor with it. Sob with it. Shake with it. Cry with it.
Scream with it. Curse at it. Get mad with it. And everyone who said you couldn’t and everyone who didn’t support you. Wail at it. Beat your fists with it. Go to the edge with it.
And when you are exhausted from the feelings and you have nothing more left, then fight for it. Stand up and declare what you want and go for it. Because the only thing stopping you (and me) are the stories we get caught up in about what we can’t have it, be it or do it.
Set your dream so big it scares the fuck out of you. Then do the deep dive into the black hole to clear out all the bullshit stories and triggers and shame that pulls you back. Then go for it, run with it, run to it… just don’t run away from it.
I can tell you now that I can see how many times I’ve run away when shit got scary. Fear itself is a trauma trigger for me so fear can put me in a dark place if I’m not careful. But this time I let the fear haul me through the darkest places I didn’t know still existed within me.
And I cleared, I clear still and with each clearing, I stand taller, more determined, fiercer than ever to succeed!
And if I can do this… just a girl with a dream… then so you can.
PS… if you’d like to get a copy of my book (only 17 days left to support the pre-order!) you can do so here -> Unchained, One Woman’s Journey of Unfucking Her Life.