Listen guys. I’m sorry, but can I complain for a second? As you might know, Sh#t Your Ego Says is my first full-length book. And I’m starting to realize something. Writing a book isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Sure, I knew it wouldn’t be a cake walk. But I didn’t expect it to feel so much like a plank walk. “Oh sure, I can write a book. No problem,” I thought. “I have a lot of great insights to share and good stories to tell.” Famous last words. Writing a book is essentially like writing yourself into a hole. The author finds himself hopelessly lost, and is left with no choice but to write his way out. Or not.
There is an inside joke within the publishing industry. It’s easy to start a book, they say. But it’s hard to finish one. The hard part, it turns out, is not the writing itself. That’s the easy part. The hard part is sitting down every day, looking into the abyss of a blank white page and facing a state of pure uncertainty. The unknown, it turns out, is a scary place. The truth is, when I start writing, I have no idea what (if anything) will come out. Unlike death or taxes, the outcome of writing is not guaranteed. This can be, to say the least, daunting.
Sometimes I start with a story and hope I can find an insight or two hidden within the plot. Sometimes I start with a nugget of wisdom and hope I can recall a story to articulate the insight. Sometimes I use my notebook to interrogate my Ego, and hope like hell I make it out alive. There are a thousand different ways to stat writing, and it doesn’t matter which one I choose. All that matter is that I start. I don’t always see the finish line, but I trust it is there. And it is. Even if I get lost along the way, I always find it.
Your attention today becomes your reality tomorrow.
Living an authentic life is a lot like writing a chapter of a book. When you decide to stop following the status quo and start listening to your inner guide, there is no blueprint. The future might look uncertain, like a blank sheet of paper. Your goals seem far away, and a little blurry. Because the future is unwritten, there is no guarantee that you will reach the finish line. And yet, like the first step of a marathon, you must begin the race before the finish line can be seen. This can be frustrating because the Ego is terrified of the unknown and what it cannot see. “What if I run out of ideas? What if my premise is stupid? Is this really what I want to do with my life? Oh god I suck.” In spite of these worries, in writing and in life, you must choose to disregard the possibility of failure, say “fuck it” and start anyway. The destination you focus on today, before results can be seen, will determine your reality tomorrow.