I finished the penultimate edit of my book today! Yay – super feeling, should be celebrating another milestone – right? Wrong. Instead I had a sinking feeling of, ‘oh crap, what if it’s not good enough. In fact I don’t think it is good enough. Is the ending strong enough? Have I just wasted the last three years? What if my agent doesn’t like it?’ And so on, and so on. Horrible. It feels like mental self-harm. There’s no blood, no scars, but bloody hell it hurts on the inside. It is often said, ‘to be creative you must lose the fear of being wrong.’ Well, I can certainly testify to the fear. I’ve lived with it now for eight years and it intensified three years ago when I decided to take a ‘career-break’ and dedicate my time completely to my second book. The book I’ve almost finished. The book I think is no longer good enough.
I’ve learnt that, the trick to stop myself from going insane is to keep control of the fear. So, I’d like to share with you my latest secret weapon. For those of you that read my earlier post on meditation (click here if you didn’t catch it) I’ve kept it up. Not everyday, but regularly enough to make me feel calm and in control for at least the ten minutes after. As part of it, Oprah quotes Jim Carey the actor, who used to park his car on Holywood Boulevard and dream of the day when he would be a famous actor. He even wrote himself a cheque for $10m dollars and sure enough a few years later he actually received a cheque for $10m for one of his movies. His visualisation helped him BELIEVE that he could do it.
Belief, or lack of fear, seems to be half the battle. So, I thought what the hell, and despite feeling ridiculous I duly wrote myself a cheque for ‘my first published book’. I have it up where I can see it everyday and you know what – it feels good, there’s something about actually putting it up there in writing, like a promise to myself. A pledge. A belief. My husband sniggered – especially when he saw the amount, it’s nowhere near $10m and I’m definitely not doing it for the money – but you know what? Let him laugh. I can’t wait to see his face when I show him the real thing!
Whatever your dreams: BELIEVE.
P.S. The wonderful Kelly at www.projectme.com has more great tips on achieving your goals.