I live with my head in the clouds a bit. I’m the first to admit it. I could quite happily walk around all day staring up at the sky, making up little tunes and stories.
When I was younger people found this quirk of mine quite charming, referring to me as eccentric or fruity. There was a tolerance for my idiosyncrasies because I had time. It was expected that with all the time that I had in front of me I would mould my quirks into something productive, something that would earn me money.
I even tolerated myself. I remember dreaming about becoming a famous writer, thinking how good it would be to earn a living doing what I really love except that the problem is I don’t love doing it as much as I love thinking about it. Writing a book is bloody hard work.
It’s like living in exile in Siberia without adequate heating, where your only nourishment is borscht, three day old bread and vodka which you eat and drink for every meal so that eventually you not only think you are in exile hanging out with Dostoyevky, you know you are in exile.
I’m doing NaNoWriMo at the moment. I’ve written 15,000 words of a novel in one week. My dearest friend Jules who is the only member of the cheer squad I have left (the others dropped out because I just kept not delivering) says it is one of the best things I have written. I don’t know if she’s right, but it is certainly the book I have written with the heaviest of hearts.
I am drinking my final whisky in the Last Chance saloon with this book. I am Scheherazade trying to ward off execution with her 1001 tales. I am watching the Titanic go down knowing I can’t swim for it.
I’m telling you this not so you will say Oh no, no, no, you are brilliant. You’re going to make it, you really are. You are kind if you do say that even though you and I both know it is not necessarily the truth. Because I don’t deliver. It’s been proven.
I could give you every excuse in the world as to why I either never finish books I start. Or leave them sitting in my desk after three drafts. Or why I dump them after one rejection. And you would hear those excuses and offer your sympathies and feel bad for me for a moment, but it wouldn’t make any difference. I would still not deliver.
Many people have tried over the years to get me out of this mindset. They have harassed me, cajoled me, begged me, killed me with positive reinforcement, but to no avail. I still cannot deliver. This is the fatal flaw in my character that even the most successful life coach in the world would not be able to address.
Is it lack of self belief?
Is it a fear of success?
Is it laziness?
Is it apathy?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that I don’t take the advice I give to others and I perplex and annoy myself in equal measure.
In my time on this planet I have learnt that there are only two ways to get what you want – put one foot in front of the other on a daily basis and work hard.
Should be easy enough even for me to follow.
Yet my head remains in the clouds.
But there comes a time when even the greatest daydreamers among us give in to the forces of gravity and land with a splat in their middle of their lives. When we realise that we shouldn’t leave the things we really want to do until it is too late.
Elvis is singing on my iTunes selection. It’s Now or Never. Couldn’t be more timely.
There’s no time like the present is what the King is saying.
Tomorrow will (might) be too late.
It’s now or never. My books won’t wait.
Do what you want to do. What lies deep in your heart. Find a way. That really is what life’s about.
Don’t leave it too late.