My husband is one of those rare individuals that can do pretty much anything. Seriously. He can fix cars, make beautiful things transform from bare wood; he's an artist that used to draw on people for a living and he can play a song on a guitar after hearing it only once. He's amazing. He's also, God bless him, insufferably scatterbrained. He is passionate about so many things that sometimes it's hard for him to focus. It's hard for him to choose a passion and make it his life's work. He comes up with excuses... "it takes money," "they won't hire me because I'm too old," yadda.
His passions, his dreams are held back by his logic. It's infuriating. So tonight I had a chat with him, funnily enough after watching Johnny Depp read his correspondence with Hunter S. Thompson. I had a minor epiphany: Thompson did something that many are too cowardly to try: he lived. He lived so much, in fact, that when older age and time caught up with him, he got bored, too bored and ended his life. I certainly don't advocate suicide. I've seen its aftermath first hand to know that it's a coward's way out. Life is hard, hard work and those that survive it are the truly heroic.
But Thompson's life can be seen as a lesson. A lesson that I've seen far too many ignore. Myself included.
So I told my husband that he was responsible for the stumbling blocks in his way. He's making far too many excuses, that if he wanted something, wanted it badly enough, he'd think about little else and just get motivated.
This conversation also reminded me of those in my life who practice the same "But I Can't, No Really, I Can't, Though I Have Huge Freakin Aspirations" dogma. I'll admit I'm guilty of that myself. I dole advice to any writer who'll listen about writing, constantly, vigilantly, but I don't always practice what I preach.
That being said, this is my affirmation; a small testimonial to myself, to my peers about what this year will mean for me. In short, it's time to stop making excuses. It's time to stop wishing. It's time to stop dreaming about the books and stories I want to write and finally bring them to life. You hear that, Interwebs? It's time, right now, right in this very second to make it happen. It's time to quit your bitchin.
I've heard the excuses, and though I understand that life, as previously mentioned, is a hard, time-consuming, dream shattering, soul bruising pain in the butt. I understand that we all have responsibilities, that we all have priorities that take us away from our passions. But you know what? So did every other writer/artist/student/parent/doctor/philosopher that came before us. The only difference between them and us is that they stopped dreaming, they stopped wishing and they went for it.
So, you've queried and gotten no responses? Or, you got responses and then rejection. Guess what, so did these people and they ended up okay. So, your relationship crapped out and has left you swimming in depression and despondency. Well, use that. Get off your butt and turn it around, make it work, embrace the pain and bleed on the dang page.
Whatever you do, stop complaining, stop making excuses, for the love of GOD stop making excuses. You are control of your own life and therefore, responsible for what you do and do not make of it. YOU control your future. It's called free will. So decide, right now how you'll end up, what your life will be.
And, above all, quit talking about what you want to do, what dream you have, what you'll do with your eight figure advance. Stop it right now and get on with the business of making things happen.