The New Way Things Work

Hi. I’m Steff. I’ll be your… book author?

Hmm! Interrrrreehhhssting.

Yeah, okay, so I’m getting off my ass and writing that book I’ve always dreamed I’d write. I’m being ballsy and telling EVERYONE I’m doing it so that a) people understand the changes that need to transpire for me to reach that life dream, and b) so I have the pressure to deliver it and stay on point.

Changes. Yes, back to that.

Everyone in my life needs to understand massive changes need to happen for me to achieve what I want. I work full-time, I have to care for myself, I have to stay on top of cleanliness thanks to ongoing building bug problems, and I’m broke off my ass anyhow. I can’t afford to “order in” some dinner so I can take this night off to write. I can’t buy meals to keep my life simpler. I can’t hire a maid to make sure my life’s not too demanding.

I need to juggle all the balls. Oh, and I need to get fit and live healthy so I don’t undo the 60+ pounds lost over the last couple years.

And somewhere in there, I need to write a book that does service to the survival and struggle that represents the last decade of my life.

Deep down inside I believe that if anyone can pull it off, I can. I’ll have reason to doubt that, and often, in the coming year or so. But at least I believe it now. Knowing the belief existed once is sometimes the most important thing you can know.

I’m terrified of writing this book. I’m terrified of facing down the dream that has pretty much sat at the top of my life-list since I was a girl. I’d rather have excuses that permit me to avoid doing this at all. If I’ve never tried, then I can’t fail, right?

No, don’t kid yourself, the easy way out is a pretty sexy venture when the other thing I’m staring at is the mountain it’s gonna take to make that book happen.

I have ZERO illusions about what it takes to write a book and even I am intimidated at the reality being thicker and heavier than even I expected it to be.

It’s going to likely mean changes for this blog. I suspect I won’t have the time to write quite as much on work days. If that’s the case, I’m thinking I’ll start hand-picking a post from my past to share with you on a daily basis. Keep in mind, with two blogs and six-plus years of writing, I’ve got more than 4,000 posts that average about 1,000 words a shot that I can choose from — during epic fuckin’ years, on a myriad of topics.

I’m pretty sure you’ve missed a few posts. I’m pretty sure some of them shouldn’t be missed. (Hey, if I didn’t believe I could write, I wouldn’t have written 4,000 posts, right? I wouldn’t be choosing to sacrifice time and life to do more of it, right?)

I’m not going to STOP writing this blog, it’s just going to continue at the relatively infrequent pace it’s been maintaining for a while. This blog will play a big part in my book.

From time to time, I’ll share what I’m going through as part of the writing process.

I’m tired of standing in the way of myself on my road to my dreams. I’m scared, yeah. But I’ve made bigger mountains my bitch. I’ve overcome some heavy shit and weighty legacies in the last 35 years. I’ve got to respect what I’ve accomplished and realize that those survival skills have a lot more to offer in other areas of my life than I maybe as yet realize.

One of my most referenced quotes in the library of my brain, as I try to psych myself up in times of trial, comes from that soul diva Patti LaBelle. When Oprah Winfrey was asking a bunch of incredible ladies in their 50s what the number-one thing they’d try to make their 30-year-old self believe, Patti LaBelle said simply that she’d tell her 30-year-old self “Believe the hype, baby. Believe the hype.”

And one of the biggest things that helped me BEGIN to have self-esteem a couple years back was simply the realization that I was looking too close at myself — I had to start stepping back and looking at myself as if I was just another person passing on the street. THEN how would I judge myself?

Believe me, when you’ve spent your life not liking yourself  and feeling like a failure against the possibility you know you possessed, just being able to look at yourself as an “average” person can be empowering.

But now I’m trying to believe the hype. I’ve got some pretty cool people telling me I’ve got the huevos to pull off a book like that which inspires me.

And I need it, man. The reality is, being 36 and saying I’m writing a memoir about my life so far sounds as fucking pompous as it kind of gets. So, I’m pretending my huevos can handle the pressure.

When it comes to writing, singing, any kind of art, though, having the balls to pull it off is a whole ‘nother matter from being committed enough to pull it off.

Writing a book isn’t a weekend or month-long commitment, unlike what National Novel Writing Month might suggest to you. Writing a book — a good book, a fiction or anything else kind of a book — should be a two-year commitment. It might take you that long. Do you have the time? The desire?

It took me 36 years, but, yeah. I do.

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