Throughout the day we show up for things we don't like, we make time for things we find boring and burdensome for different reasons:
- It pleases other people
- It helps us feel good in the moment
- It seems like a quick fix to something bigger that we don't want to fix
I think of how many things that I give into throughout the day; things that make me feel good or is something that I think will make me look better to others but I really hate it.
And what burns me the most is that we do this when we are close to the things we think we want, we could be a few steps away from our final goal but yet we give up.
I didn't elaborate in this story in the video below, but I like to give my readers a bonus story.
In 2015 I went to the NYC Pitch Conference in New York, thinking that the conference would be my big break into the publishing world. Around the same time was when I started my first blog under a different name, and went to great lengths to get the money to cover the travel expenses. The way everything came together seemed like fate, I had just enough money to go to the conference, down the the last penny, I had friends and coworkers cheering me on, friends offered to help me with the kids while I was gone, and my pages were edited and polished to be as perfect and error free as I could make them, with the help of my writing coach at the time, Pen Coach, Paul Shirley.
The NYC Pitch Conference was exactly what I needed, the organizer of the event, Michael Neff, is really good about picking the right people to help you craft your pitch and as we one by one deal with the requests or rejections from each editor, it was my first glimpse into the business of publishing, which I felt was the most valuable. At the conference, you learned how to craft a pitch for editors by learning how to speak their language of not only literature, but how to relate to the markets. The questions the editors asked about your work and the market were things that I needed to know when I went back to Los Angeles.
After leaving that weekend with a request from 2 editors from major publishing houses, for not just 1, 10 or 20 pages, but 50 pages and the first three chapters, I was so happy that I finally scratched the surface. I got to this next tier of semi-success because I didn't give up. New York was not too expensive, child care wasn't an issue, and I had big ideas that were timeless stories. Nothing was too big to make me give up.
When I came back to Los Angeles, I felt like New York had changed me so much that I couldn't tolerate my job that didn't pay me well anymore and I needed more. I couldn't tolerate so many routine and mundane things that I once tolerated.
So I looked for a new job. I got it.
I couldn't tolerate my shitty apartment in a very dangerous neighborhood. I wanted to live in a beautiful apartment in Venice, California. So I got it.
Then I couldn't tolerate poor health and being inactive and I wanted to take dance classes and eat healthier food. So I got it.
I got all these things with so much persistence, but I dropped the one thing that inspired me to make these changes. I was so busy learning a new job, fixing up my new place, meal prepping and working out that I stopped querying agents and editing my work.
Because I wouldn't give up on my distractions, I gave up on something that was my dream, gave into my fears and now I have to start all over again to sell the same book that could have sold in 2016 had I realized that I needed to stop giving in, or else I would, ultimately give up.
It is hard to stay focused. That's why things like mediation, thinking of original ideas, or finding and staying in flow are so much harder than they appear.
What I hope you will find is the difference between the moments that you give in and give up and see the difference in your own lives so that you're never off course on chasing your dreams--if you want them to come true you have to chase them with everything you've got!