one million words

find your voice. tell your story.

self talk for writers and other procrastinating artists

Dear Creative One,

Pursuing your passion does not mean you will savor every moment of pursuit. You are called to write and you know it and deadlines are not your enemy. Consider them kind strangers who help guide your journey. You wish you’d gotten started earlier, when first feeling the urge to create but it’s not too late. Your moment is now. Quit hiding in the places of life and work where you are accomplished, affirmed already.

Pursuing your passion is messier than the picture in your head. Toilets will clog, children scream and computer screens go blank. You will be interrupted, react inappropriately and shame yourself, second guessing your calling. You will be tempted put all of this passion stuff for a later season of life undoubtedly more suitable to such lofty aspirations than crazy now.

Pursuing your passion means you must make peace with who you are and where you are at. You loathe the awkwardness of beginner style writing, your own script. Guess what? No one is losing sleep over your imperfections. Call it generous or self absorbed, either way works in your favor. People are not watching you/talking about you like you think they do. They are busy with their own stuff. You are the one obsessing over spinach in your teeth.

I know you are picky about what you read and think your words should also sound like a bestselling author. Reminder: This is an unrealistic expectation. You are not a bestselling author. For now. Think of that page turning novel you’re sucked into right now. It was her first book and it took her 8 years to create.  EIGHT YEARS?? And you think you can artfully string together clever words, brilliant insights with equal skill and beauty? Nope, my friend. Not with the dull roar of three children in the background who never stop saying mom.

My youngest tugs on my sleeve as I type these words. “Do something crazy!” she urges. I already am….right now, I tell her. She is not convinced. I get up. We do a crazy dance. Sit back down. I am choosing to engage, even share a craft I have not mastered. It feels like making a halfway great meal with a halfway set table and opening the front door wide, shouting there is room at the table. What if anyone actually comes? This is not my best meal. Will I feel embarrassed because I am not offering Pottery Barn style entertainment? What if the settings are props, my performances a shield to hide a fragile ego. Would I be willing to get over myself?  What’s there to lose? Company at the table?

So today, cut yourself some slack. Anything worth doing is worth doing right [perfect?] does not apply to you right now. What counts today is showing up, right here with your whole self in the middle of your friendly chaos. Pat yourself on the back while you pursue this thing called writing with all the enthusiasm and awkwardness of a first time skier. Yes, adults lining up with preschoolers on the magic carpet do look a little out of place. But you can’t help but give them a little credit for showing up.

And. Yes, you will move beyond the writers bunny hill. But it won’t happen in one giant leap to the top. It will happen one typed word at a time.

Keep showing up my friend!

Love, Me

#RaRaLinkUp with Kelly Balerie at today

Dance like no one is watching. S with Vicks in her hair- dancing her heart out after sissy’s performance.

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7 Replies

  1. Astrid, it is no mistake that I stopped by your blog today. This is exactly what I needed to hear! We sure do like to see instant results, don’t we? Thank you for the reminders of why I am doing this, and that we need to be realistic as well. And I love the line about your daughter. Too funny. 😉

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks friend. Let’s type our way to the top, one tiny key at the time :).

  2. Thank you Astrid for encouraging us just to go for it and to step out. Keep going my friend and keep encouraging. Cheering you on!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Thanks. Your RaRaLinkUp is a good motivator to post once a week which has been one of my unaccomplished goals for a while. Thanks for providing a little structure and accountability, it’s helped me.

  3. Love this. Need this reminder tattooed. Seriously. Recovering perfectionist self feels like it’s sometimes just TOO MUCH. Show up, be brave, open your heart and your home and just write the words. Thank you!

    1. Astrid Melton

      I am so glad this resonated. I typed these words straight from my heart in 15 minutes right before going to work with my kids running wild. I knew they were imperfect, even a couple typos and yet I forced myself to leave it just that way, no editing and sit with the feelings that come up when you perform below your expectation. I know I don’t sit here alone.

      1. Tara

        “I forced myself to leave it just that way, no editing and sit with the feelings that come up when you perform below your expectation.” Love! Is it ok for me to love your comment as much as I love the whole post? 🙂 These words apply to so many more areas of my life than just writing. I guess that’s because you’re speaking of passions and that pursuing them rightly never will look exactly the way we think they should. If I can get accustomed to not just sitting with those feelings of missing the mark, but even embracing them, I will be empowered to pursue even more freely, knowing those feelings are merely evidence that I actually showed up and did something! Woo! 🙂 <3

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