Before You Get What You Want, You Have to Do What You Need.

Posted by

Take a deep breath…

Now, visualize what you wantwant to happen. Want to be.

Things don’t just happen. In real life, as an adult, if you want to be extraordinary, you have to try.

It’s easy to coast along. Work week: commute, exercise, happy hour, return home to a nightly routine of preparing for the next day. Weekends: laundry, social plans, marveling at the kids—they grow up so fast.

But if you want something to change, you have to try. You have to be thoughtful and proactive. Lean forward. Disrupt routine.

***

I moved to California for many reasons. To get away from winter. To get away from my family’s doubtful opinions of me. But also, to write a book.

Have I mentioned I’m writing a book? It’s called Let Me Out I’m Stuck.

You’ve probably never heard of it though because I haven’t finished writing it yet (not to mention the professional proposal and polished pitch I need to attract a publisher).

Four years ago, I arrived in San Diego, California with a New Yorker’s swagger and determination. (I also arrived with no idea of how complicated, tedious and time consuming it was to write a book.)

My first summer here I proudly pronounced, “The Summer of Writing!” With four months vacation from my contracted copywriting gig (and very few friends within 3,000 miles), I committed to transcribing my New York journals onto my laptop. Eight years of City escapades and self exploration packed into three hundred typed pages of exercises in candor and wit.

First Draft

After two months of diligent digitization, I printed and bound my first draft at 2nd Street Printing in Encinitas, California.

For the remainder of the summer, I remember pouring over those bound pages. I added creative writing assignments I had written throughout the years and wrote new, scenic prose to introduce the reader into my world. I meticulously shaped the first fifty pages, focusing on my “hook,” as they call it in the publishing biz.  

Then, I got distracted by a complicated living situation. In the two years I lived in San Diego, I packed up and movedª five times.

After the fifth move, I decided to leave Southern California. I put my book on hold to apply for jobs in San Francisco—Which is where I live now, working at yet another corporate copywriting job (this one without a four-month summer break).

Work week: commuting, exercising, happy hour-ing, returning home to a nightly routine preparing for the next day. Weekends: laundry, social plans, marveling at the kids, experiencing the city.

***

This month marks two years in San Francisco. Four in California!

I moved to California as a result of trying, leaning forward, disrupting.

I moved to California to write a book.

No more distractions, Charlotte! You’re accountable now.

So, take a deep breath…

Visualize what you want.

I want to share my voice and vision with the world by writing a book.

Good. Now, what needs to happen/what do you need to do to make that happen?

Many things.

Today’s post is focused on the acknowledgement of two:

(1.) Read more. I recently changed my commute to secure a half hour to forty five minutes on the bus to read each morning on my way to work. (My previous commute required switching from bus to BART, ten minutes on each. Sure, I got to work faster, but was that really my objective? The great thing about public transportation is that someone else is driving! I might as well relax, turn the page and enjoy the ride.

This weekend, I plan to finish the Handmaid’s Tale. My next book is How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh. I saw her on Chelsea Hander’s new Netflix series. If that chick can write a book, so can I.

(2.) Write more. Content is reliant on production (more on this later). Starting today, right now, I am making myself accountable to a weekly 2-3 hour writing session every Thursday evening. 

 

ªShout out to Tttttravis who actually moved my stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s