In 2017, I formally started my dream to become a writer. I self-published a book, wrote for various websites, had TV/radio/online interviews, attended conferences, etc. But the whole time, something felt off.
People that know me know, when I commit to something, I overcommit. Whether it’s growing up playing sports and teaching myself piano, to getting into the business school and landing a decent job, to traveling and working long hours as a consultant, writing a book, and planning a wedding in the same year. Hell, even if a buddy says, “hey, we should go to Mexico over New Years”, if I commit, I’ll be sipping Tecates in Mexico on New Years Eve whether the buddy comes or not.
But when I decided to pursue a dream in writing, for the first time in my life, I didn’t give it my all. I went through the motions. I under committed.
I stopped posting online, I stopped caring about book-sales and marketing, I pretty much just stopped. I accepted my fate and ignored my own advice. The only thing I didn’t stop was writing, but instead of having pride in it, I ghost-wrote blog entries for websites but wouldn’t share them on my personal accounts, I wrote pages and pages of fake-articles that I would delete after reading them, and I started a new book series, finishing book one last July.
Why didn’t I commit?
For starters, life events took priority. I bought a condo, got married, had a honeymoon, lost a mother-in-law, a grandma, and a grandma-in-law, had two surgeries, was involved (as a witness…) to a felony burglary case, and spent more time in airplanes and hospital rooms than I did my own bedroom… and that was the first six months post-book release.
Side hustles seem pretty insignificant when life hits you in the face. But that’s never stopped me before, so that couldn’t be the sole reason.
Why didn’t I commit?
It took some time, but part two falls directly on me. I lazily wrote a book with a story too close to reality, that for some, blurred the line between a fiction and a tell-all book. I even could tell it was becoming a thing two weeks after my book came out. And to those people, it got uncomfortable and I felt weird continuing to market a book that was unsettling for some. When you combine this apprehension with life-events that deserved priority, you get a feeling of embarrassment placing any level of importance in your writing.
This embarrassment and lack of pride sat with me for months and months. But I never doubted my writing. I’m still proud of From Bud to Blow. The professional reviews I’ve received have been amazing, friends/family loved it, and people I’ve never met before rated it well. But as Adam Grant says, it wasn’t self-doubt, it was idea doubt. But I wasn’t prepared emotionally or had the time to creatively fix it.
Over the past year I’ve gotten a new job, written a new book (with zero chance of any confusion with reality…), and was fortunate to have a beautiful baby daughter. I don’t know if these life changes have cleansed myself of that tornado of a time period or washed away that lingering anxiety, but whatever it is, I’m done under committing.
My dream is still to become a writer and I have no doubts in my ability to become one. I’m going to post my blogs/articles, I’m going to be active on social media, and when book one of my new book series comes out, I’m going to market it with pride. Because fuck it… I’m overcommitting.
And if you want to hop-on for the ride, the first round of Dirty-Birds in Mexico is on me.