I thought about it every day for the last 8 years of my life. Every morning I woke up and thought about it.
And after I thought about it, I would tell myself, “Today is the day. Today is the day I get started. No more excuses. Today I will start writing my book and I won’t stop until a first draft is sitting on my computer.” Some days, I really believed I was going to do it. Most days I wanted to believe I was. Truly I did. But I did what I always did, I talked myself into believing I would start the next day. That was enough to not feel guilty. That was enough to let myself off the hook, yet every morning I wondered, “what it would feel like to have completed a first draft?”
For whatever reason, “right here, right now,” never applied. I needed an extra hour in bed, an extra hour on the couch or with my friends or rooming book stores trying to find a spark of motivation to join this elite group of rare individuals who have each committed to a greater purpose than themselves. And another day turned into another week, another, month, and another New Years resolution. And then 8 years went by in the blink of an eye and I didn’t have a page, a paragraph, or word to show for it.
One day, through circumstances that were not in my control, I realized something that changed my life forever. But I didn’t know it at the time. I didn’t know it when I woke up every single morning for the last 8 years and tried to convince myself that today was the day. But first, the universe gave me a little slap in the face. Well, not quite a slap. I got into a bike accident. Broke my knee cap. There it was — no more excuses. I was recovering. I was stuck. Nowhere to go and I thought this was it, this was the opportunity I needed. I would take this time and start writing. But I didn’t. I didn’t write a page, a paragraph or a word. Every morning, I woke up and I told myself, despite the pain I’m in and the difficulty to do basic things around the house, that today, I would start writing. And again, everyday, I talked myself into believing I would start the next day. A year had passed, I was back on my feet, back at work, back to regular life and back to waking up every morning telling myself the same thing I’ve been telling myself my entire life. That’s when the realization hit me that changed everything — I was never going to feel like it. I was never going to find motivation to get it done. I was waiting for something my mind created and like a movie I can’t forget, kept playing over and over in my head. I knew then, I had only two options, either forget about it completely and move on with my life, or do what needs to be done to get it done and write your fucking book. I just knew I couldn’t keep the idea that one day I was going to get my shit together in my head any longer. I started to feel regret. I started to feel this agonizing feeling that I wasted my life convincing myself that my bullshit was real. This was not like anything I have ever felt. It cut deep. It twisted slowly so it would leave a mark. That’s how it started. My journey to become a published writer became a journey of healing and growth.
It was as spontaneous as I had ever felt in my life. There’s no other way to put it. I never thought I would actually do it. But I did. It happened in an instant. I took off. Just left. I left my job and my responsibilities. I went completely off grid for a few months and I lived on a beach, completely alone, in Costa Rica, to write a book. I had no idea what it was going to be about. I just went with a goal.
It was peaceful and beautiful. I woke up every morning to the sound of monkeys howling, ocean waves crashing and the most beautiful sunrises I had ever seen. I created a writing routine that consisted of early rising, mediation, journaling and reading every morning, getting my mind focused and discipline. Finding my creative edge through the state of flow.
That is where I wrote the first draft of my manuscript. There it was. That feeling I wondered about for so long. Question answered. What would it feel like to finish a complete first draft of my very own manuscript?
After my time away, I spend the next year, working with an incredible editor on the next two drafts — which was as equally hard as writing the first one, because I was back in my daily grind. Except this time, I didn’t wake up trying to convince myself what I needed to do. I woke up and I knew what I needed to do. I developed a routine that gave me so much clarity that I was able to develop self-control and complete awareness. Some days, I didn’t feel like it, some days I did. But everyday, I made sure I took one step closer never looking behind. Now my book is finished. And my journey has only just began.
Life is a process of learning. Whether it be through success or failure, there’s always a lesson. There’s no way around it. You have to trust the process and then you have to execute. Know that everything is there because you asked for it. You’re never going to want to feel great about doing the hard shit. That’s what every successful person understands that the rest don’t or choose not to. Success is not the end result. It’s the journey itself. It’s the long hours when you’re grinding away when every one else is sleeping or partying.
It’s the ability to stay true to your passion and use that passion to realize your purpose. It’s the early mornings. It’s the solitude. It’s the smaller circles and deeper connections. It’s the you that you want to look back on when you’re standing on your mountain top and know that during the hardest times in your life, you didn’t make excuses and you did the fucking work.
I recognized this was always the process. I needed the first 10 years of my life to find the one that would change it forever. As I write and share my first ever blog with you, I am now in the process of putting together my book proposal with my editor. Then, comes a literary agent and then the publishing house, which is something I think about every day. There was a time in my life when I really started believing it was never going to happen. I would never be where I am now, let alone the idea of even finishing the first draft. Now my book is written, three drafts, 200 pages. I am also developing my website and Youtube page. Can I predict the future? Of course not. Can I say for certain and without a doubt that I have written the greatest book ever? Only time will tell. But what I will tell you is, I could see my life changing because it will, because it is. Through the experience I have gone through, through being self-aware and a continuous interest to wanting to self-improve.