I’ve mentioned before I have a Ph.D. in procrastination. Why do today that which you can put off until tomorrow? It pains me to say it, but more often than not, that is my life mantra.
I’ve been sitting on a book idea for almost two years now. It’s something that I want to do. If I allow myself to admit it, it’s something that I feel I called to do. You know, that little voice in my head. My own personal Field of Dreams message: “If you write it … they will come.” (..or something along those lines).
The reason I’ve been sitting on this project for some time now is because I find the subject matter to be devastatingly brutal. I think about the work involved to obtain and compile the subject matter, and I start getting knots in my stomach. I think about the actual process of working on this book, and all I want to do is close my laptop and go play video games. Writing, all of the sudden, becomes the last thing in the world I want to do.
I think mostly everyone has either seen or heard Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech. It was a great speech (second only to Jared Leto’s), and I found interesting the part where McConaughey talked about his hero (go to 2:50 in the clip below). I don’t know if my hero is me ten year’s from now. I don’t know if I am chasing who it is I think I want to be in a decade. I can, however, tell you there is an aspect of me from ten years – give or take – ago I consider to be my hero.
As flawed and broken and lost as I was back in 2004 and 2005, I did somehow manage to put together some pretty decent blog posts along the way. My writing was, at that time, a form of therapy, and it was the way I managed to deal with the self-inflicted turmoil I was experiencing. And I sometimes find myself perusing those old posts in hopes of finding a new spark for my current projects. That scared and stupid Gil of a decade of go did manage to put out some words of wisdom, perseverance, and perspective; all of which I am finding useful in the present day.
So as I worked on the epilogue for my book and put some meat around the outline, I was very glad to draw on the wisdom of that sophomoric kid from 2005. I re-read the post I wrote about the first time I rode a dirt bike, and I can’t help to think how appropriate it is for me right now.
I know I have lots of pain to endure for this project. I know it will not be easy. Yet if I take my own advice, I know I will survive the stings.