I am an expert at justification. I have a bachelor's degree in philosophy (no, really, I do) and can play devil's advocate with the best of them. Really want that new car? I can find a way to make it seem like the only thing that makes sense is to go out and get it. Thinking about breaking up with your boyfriend? Just give me a few facts and I'll convince you in moments. Of course, if he gets to me first, I just may find a few hundred logical reasons for him to hold on to you at all costs, so watch out!
I have never aspired to use these powers for evil. Not even when my then-boyfriend proposed to me on vacation in Maui and I desperately wanted us to get married there and then return to the mainland and announce it to our families. I had a gut feeling that I could have talked him in to eloping in the few short days we had remaining on the island, but I also knew that his mother would never ever in an infinite number of years forgive him for doing such a horrible thing. So I didn't exercise my will. (Part of me still wishes I had, and during the planning of the wedding, we both kicked ourselves multiple times for not eloping).
I have a natural affinity for excuses. It's not the prettiest part of my character, and I'm not proud of it, but it remains nonetheless. I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember, and over the past three years I have attended multiple writing workshops and classes, purchased a laptop solely for those endeavors, and started this blog. But I have also found numerous excuses not to launch myself into the writing stratosphere wholly. "I have young kids whose schedules are unpredictable and I am their primary caregiver. My husband suffers from a chronic unknown illness that strikes often and throws us into chaos. I can't find the time to sit and focus every single day. Just as soon as..."
In the meantime, I am watching friends and fellow bloggers like Michelle (http://www.michelleoneilwrites.blogspot.com/) and Jenny (http://www.jennyrough.com/) immerse themselves in their dreams and make their writing a priority. Jenny, that most courageous of all souls, quit her lucrative job as an attorney to become a freelance journalist and she has succeeded spectacularly. Michelle is writing a memoir that is certain to knock the socks off of everyone who reads it. Carrie Link (http://fully-caffeinated.blogspot.com/) has taken a job as an assistant to a phenomenal nonfiction author and is penning her own memoir as well. Why haven't I thrown myself into my writing wholeheartedly yet?
I have submitted short pieces for publication in online magazines and local parenting magazines. None have been accepted, but I can't say that it has devastated me. I have other ideas for series articles and have pitched them and gotten feedback that is encouraging. What is it that keeps me from making the leap? I have a terrific idea for a book and have gone so far as to conduct interviews for it, but I have yet to dedicate a daily chunk of my time or energy to moving any of these projects forward.
Next Thursday I am traveling to another workshop with a group of fantastic women whom I admire and respect. I am incredibly excited to be getting away and hope that I am able to find the spark that will put me over the edge. I know that I am the only person who can make this happen and I also know that I won't be fully satisfied until I make the effort 100%. I wish I could talk myself into just letting go...