Ever wanted to pursue a dream but just couldn’t seem to make yourself give it the effort it would need for success? That probably only fits a few hundred thousand of us out there. One of our WomenBloom members who would love to be a writer asks for help figuring out why she can’t seem to get the courage to put her work out there for publishing despite having taken a number of classes and workshops.
Where to begin?! Thirteen years ago I went to work for the first time since I was early married. With the youngest child in middle school I opted to work for the school district my kids were in to enable me to have summers off. I didn't care where they put me as with an old degree in social work and psychology and no plans to go back to school I figured anywhere would be fine as a starting point. I wound up in the English as a Second Language department but because I had no certification, I became the aide and have been in the same classroom, have gone through four teachers and NEVER thought I would be there even five years much less thirteen! Now I am sixty, still working (to keep my health insurance mostly) in now what feels more like a rut than a challenging job. The inner most core of me feels like a writer. I have taken every writing class known to the college communities and have been encouraged to write by all. I have as many books on how to write and get published as a small library - still I drag my feet due to self doubt, fear of criticism and a neurotic phobia of being challenged by what I might write. I worked for a small newspaper so I know some of the ins and outs of the journalism world but I simply cannot take the plunge and just do it! HELP! I would like nothing more than to turn my living room into an office, close it off with a pair of French doors, surround myself with soft classical music and turn out article after article. End of story!
Any advice from my career coach?
S.K., Kansas City, MO.
Ann Daly PhD (Austin) is a life coach, keynote speaker, and author of Clarity: How to Accomplish What Matters Most She helps women and creative professionals get clear about what they want and how to get it. Sign up for Ann’s blog, Women, Clarity, & Power. Here is what she has to say:
First of all, I suggest that you take a deep breath. When we want to initiate substantive changes in our lives, it’s most effective to make those decisions from a clear, calm, and focused place.
As a coach, I’ve worked with a number of women in your situation. The good news is that, at 60, you have the opportunity to feel your power and do what matters most. The bad news is that, at 60, you’ve grooved some habits that are getting in your way.
What I hear is a bad case of resistance. In order to break through that resistance, I suggest that you do some brutally honest soul-searching to answer the following three questions. Warning: they’re not easy. But neither is the writing life.
1. What is *really* keeping you from writing? Not from sending your stuff out, or editing it, or getting reviews. What is stopping you from the private act of writing a few minutes a day?
2. Do you want to write, or do you want to be a writer? (These are two different desires.)
3. Your history indicates that you have led your life by yielding to the path of least resistance. Writing is a path of greatest resistance that requires continuous proactive commitment. Are you able and willing to change your old habit?
When you get clear about these answers, then you’ll know what the next step is. Good luck!