There were so many reasons not to start a blog. Such as:
I wrote a memoir, which was all it took to lead to the discovery that I don't actually take joy in revealing my thoughts to just anyone who might stumble across this.
I already have plenty writing to do.
I can't even figure out how to change this font color.
So in a way, I'm doing this for you, and not me...but in a way, I'm doing this for me, and not you.
I have a friend who works in the music industry and says that while a new recording artist's lifelong goal might have been to make an album, that's actually the easiest thing they'll do in their career. The real success is in gaining enough traction and having enough guts—and brains—to deal with everything that happens around that single work. The industry sharks.* The critics. The ever-changing trends. It can feel so ruthless and therefore, so pointless. So the real success is not in scoring that first contract but in getting the second, and the third, and each one after that. The success is not in putting out that first work, but in staying sturdy enough on your feet after that to keep outputting.
Because it takes real courage to keep showing up. And after my first work...
I didn't really want to.
I used to believe that life was beautiful. The world was good. People were kind. Anything was possible. And in my heart, I guess, I hope, that I'm still that optimistic person. But these days...is it just me, or do we all know that things aren't easy? A study suggests that four out of every five people want to write their life story, and I think that's because we—strike that. they—feel that having some powerful publisher in a skyscraper office say, "Yes! You're brilliant!" will elevate their personal worth. But it doesn't.
It doesn't, you guys.
It's not the writing that's the feat. It's not the publishing. It's not the praise, the recognition, the speaking engagements, the press. It's not even the money. None of that matters. It's the doing. The living. The being. Maybe it's the writing a blog after you've realized that the sacred privacy of the mind is one of your most cherished possessions. There's a part of me that often wishes I could trace my steps backward to 2009 and choose instead not to write a book about my life. Doesn't work that way.
So when I tell you that I did not want to start a blog—when I tell you that I have been so very content these past seven years discovering revelations about what we humans can overcome through the books I've co-written with people whose lives are way more interesting than mine is...I hope you will find the authenticity in that. I did not want to do this, but I have to. More than ever, there are quiet truths to share. More than ever, I need to keep growing. Ginger (why are you still even here? Seriously, go meet Ginger) reminded me this past Monday when we were on a call with a TV producer: "All the good stuff has happened because I was willing to push straight through my fears." For so long, I've resisted the call to start this blog. But it has never gone away.
This year marks a decade since I got my first book deal. A decade since before I knew what it felt like for anyone in the world to be able to read your thoughts. But, I guess a lot can happen in a decade.
What growth might you be resisting today? Don't worry if the font's pink. Just considering showing up.
(*Thank heaven in publishing, people are mostly really nice.)
Photo credit gracious courtesy of Bryan C. Hynds in Treasure Lake, PA.