It was a dark and stormy night of the soul under heavy clouds of unknowing. The kind of storm that makes you drop the blinds and hunker down and think about candles in case power lines go down. The kind that makes you coulda-woulda-shoulda yourself about not buying a case of bottled water the day before.
When a storm like that is happening, it sure doesn’t feel safe to go “out there” and of course, storms at nighttime are more intimidating than they are during the day.
Like a real storm, it’s one of those things that you have to get through until it passes . . . because we know storms pass and if you can get through until morning, there might even be a double rainbow with Pixar clouds painted in the oh-so-blue sky waiting for you. Or, sometimes, it just keeps raining for days–but you still peek out to check on those clouds.
I gotta tell you that I’ve never met a person who hasn’t been through this. And the funny thing is when it’s happening, it always feels like you’re the only one.
It took me 46 years of this Earth adventure to finally write Truthfairy Field Guide: No Guru Required. The decision to write it happened four years ago, and it took the better part of the last eighteen months to get to the business actually writing it– because the Truth is, sometimes real life was so much, I had a hard time gathering up my marbles.
When you’re The Mom, moving through one family crisis after another, managing guilty feelings for trying to work on this “book thing” so soon after said family crises were neutralized, worrying about money, grinding gears over debt, recovering from old and persistent trauma on top of just being a regular person, a real mom, a wife, a good friend . . . let me tell you, there were more than a dozen times I almost gave up.
I even announced it.
There’s an old Broadway song that always seems to niggle me during the quieter times of these little storms–it goes, “It’s always darkest just before they turn on the lights!”
Then there’s me:
For the love of God!
Would someone PLEASE hurry up and flip that switch!
Here’s what I learned about that:
Sometimes, you just have to work with the light you have, even if it’s just a flicker. There were many days, that’s how my book got written–wait, is that why I now need glasses?
But, seriously, no matter how dark and stormy some of this stuff felt to my soul, all the way down in the middle . . .
I knew I couldn’t quit.
If I quit, I’d be quitting on everyone who has encouraged me, waited for me, asked me, supported me, and rooted for me. And the worst part would be knowing that my kids would see me give up on myself.
So, I did it. I finally finished the first volume.
And now, on February 2nd (my 47th birthday!), every pre-order will ship, the Kindle orders will be delivered, and as I sit here writing to you, the proof copies are staring at me from across the room.
Wow. Somebody pinch me.
So, you know that thing you’ve been thinking about working on? The passionate work that you sometimes feel like you’re just stealing time to chip away at? That thing the world needs that only you can do?
I hope you do it–all the way to the finish line.
Light a candle, get a flashlight, rub two sticks together if that’s what you’ve got right now. Don’t quit on you.
I’m sending this up to you as a flare because, well . . .
We need you.