First of all, this is the final post in my 30 Day Blogging Challenge – can I get a high-five?? I did miss a day, but blogged twice the following day to make up for it. So in 30 days, I have posted 30 times. And do you know what? I really thoroughly enjoyed it. (I sincerely hope you did too, I hope the daily emails weren’t too irritating!)
I will probably blog more often from now on, but probably not every day! It’s been a good challenge to come up with something relevant every day, and even though I made a list of 30 things to blog about before I started, I’ve only used a fraction of those ideas.
Today’s post was inspired by a beautiful friend of mine, Miranda, by my circumstances this week, and by the book I’ve been reading for the last two weeks (took me longer than my normal book a week goal), which is The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte.
I want to talk about passion. And crazy ambition.
I’ve been struggling to understand why anyone would prioritise their work and their to-do list over having a meaningful relationship, and last night, when I finished reading the last few chapters of Danielle’s book, I finally understood. I had an ‘aha’ moment, you could say.
For too long now, I have bought into the ‘myth of balance’, as Danielle calls it. You know, where you fill in the wheel of life, and see how unbalanced your life is, and how bumpy the ride will be. I filled in an online one, and my wheel looks something like this:
Wow. Seriously out of whack, you could would say. Or is it? I know these kinds of exercises are useful to see what areas could use improvement and a bit of attention, but in Danielle’s Firestarter Sessions, she makes the very important point that when you have a crazy ambition, sometimes you have to cut out and ignore anything that doesn’t help you achieve it. Which means your life will be unbalanced. You can see from my wheel, that all my focus is on my career right now, which is my writing and publishing, and in order to focus on that, I have not been working in a regular job and my finances are not good (though I am getting things sorted now). And in my crazy, working all hours to make things happen mode – I don’t take much time out to have lots of fun, and I do try to keep healthy, but that often slides too when I’m in mission mode.
And as I’ve come to realise this week, when you’re trying to have a relationship with someone who is on a mission, and who believes in your mission, then sometimes having an intense relationship is not a good thing. It’s a distraction. It’s going to derail us from our missions. And I have finally come to accept that in order to pursue what we are passionate about, it means going our separate ways.
I’ve realised that when I really put myself into gear, I can achieve so much. I thought that publishing two books a year was a lot. That it was a big goal. After writing and publishing a book in less than 3 months last year, and writing another book during that same time in just two weeks, I have come to realise that actually, I have been really quite slack.
I am an author. I write books. It has literally been all I wanted to do since I was eight years old. So to only actually write anything for a couple of months out of the year seems crazy. How will I hone my writing skills that way? How will I produce enough material to keep my readers happy? How will I publish enough books to make a living from them?
By putting everything I have into it. By giving myself permission to stop trying to balance my life. There has been this pervading myth that women can ‘have it all’. Husband, kids, career, home etc. But do you know what? Dividing all your energy equally between those things is impossible. If you do manage to, you become exhausted. Sometimes, you really do need to just focus on one thing at a time. Yes, you will upset people, no, it might not always be convenient. But sometimes, it’s totally necessary.
So for 2015, I’ve set myself some pretty big writing goals, because this is the year of focussing on my career. I will try to have fun along the way, but for too long now, I have lacked passion and real commitment to my purpose. I want to wake up every day, desperate to get some words onto the page, and eager to get my books out into the world. I want to experience a passion every day that can start fires.
Not only will I be a firewalker, I will be a firestarter too!