Unlike all my other posts, this one is not full of sexy, exciting, flashy information (tongue, meet cheek). This is a letter to myself and the rest of the world about what it really means to commit to something, and how I have come to learn the importance and the absolute necessity to commit to a daily process as opposed to a glittery, sexy reward.
Yesterday, was a day full of frothy emotional turmoil with flipping stomachs and wishful thoughts of becoming a magician and making myself disappear. “What happened yesterday?” You ask. Well, yesterday I had to dig into a painful place for myself. I had to figure some stuff out and remember my “Why” and also figure out how to refocus.
I received my first professional review yesterday from Online Book Club, and while it wasn’t terrible:
“This book contains a fantastic adventure. From the first explosion, the action takes off running. Once Trent comes into his powers, things get even more interesting, as his abilities seem almost limitless. This could have had the effect of making Trent overcome everything too easily, but the author did a great job of keeping the threat real. “
It wasn’t great either:
“While the story had a lot of potential, the writing left me wanting. The attitudes of many of the characters were cynical, which is putting it mildly. Almost any time someone was genuine or heartfelt, at least two other characters would make fun of that person for thinking something nice. I wonder if this was supposed to be humorous, and if it had been a few isolated incidents, it may have been. But it happened so much that I got to the point where I just wanted anyone to be supportive of anything.”
The fact that they really enjoyed a fantastic adventure but felt the characters were too cynical left me feeling lost and upset with myself that I did not convey the message of the story well enough. I was seriously questioning even finishing writing the current book I am working on. My doubt and fear HAD me by the throat yesterday, because of my very first ever professional review, and I felt sick.
Looking at it now I realize that it was the absolute best thing that could have happened. The book received a star rating of 2 out of 4 by the way, for grammar mistakes and Cynicism. Which was a main theme in the story because the main character was an alcholic that felt he had no one on his side. But that is where I need to become clearer with what I am trying to convey.
A little back story. I wrote, Trent Foster and the Council of 10, in 3 weeks, edited it in 4 days and published it. My ass was on fire for everyone to read the first novel that I imagined was life-changing because it was for me. Writing this book changed the way I viewed what I am capable of. But the result of rushing through the PROCESS of publishing meant that I set the book up to fail.
I was so enamored with the result of what I believed the book could do for my life; I shortchanged the Process of actually making it the absolute best it could be. It is why every successful writer goes through multiple drafts before putting their work out to the public; they don’t write one draft run it through some grammar software and publish it, because they are Committed to a Process of Success not the Idea of a Result.
I had to ask myself some hard questions yesterday, (hard for me anyway.)
- Am I willing to commit to doing what the most successful writers in the world do or do I just want to be Mediocre Matt always chasing a feeling or result?
I learned through the program of AA that by committing to Thoroughly following the path that has been laid out before me by the men and women who have successfully stopped drinking and are living good lives, that I can too. I can have a wonderful life and I sure as Hell do have a wonderful life, by following and practicing the principals in AA. But, my success doesn’t have to stop there. If I am willing to COMMIT to practicing a Thorough approach of self-discovery and self-improvement in every aspect of my life, then the successes that happen in my life will be astonishing.
I realize that when I feel stretched thin and all over the place it is probably because I am not focused on any one thing, and I am trying to focus on many things.
I have made a recommittment to myself today, and I must recommit every day that I will focus on the process by which a successful life, career, family, etc. is made. I will leave my thoughts of results and goals for my vision board, always there but not my main focus. My main focus must be to improve in every aspect of my life that is meaningful to me, and the only way I have found to do that is by COMMITTING to the process by which a successful life is made.
Anyway I got back to work yesterday on the current book I am writing, keeping in mind the areas I need to improve and grow. Because, I do want to be a great writer and that doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by committing myself to doing what great writers do. Never stop writing and never stop improving.
“I don’t trip and fall into a good life. I do the actions required of a good life, and the good life shows up.” – I am qouting myself. Ha
What aspects of your life are you not committing to that you want to see improve?