I realize after typing the title of this post how that might sound. But I’m standing by it – not just because the middle schooler in me is going “heh. She said ‘doing it'”, but because I feel like several other writers, artists, or otherwise self-employed creatives out there will have a lot of resonance with this.

When do you know you’re “doing it”?

The “doing it” here can mean any number of things: Being a badass author, living out your dream of being an actor, making a name for yourself as an artist.

No matter your creative expression, I find that there is some imaginary line between “not doing it” and “doing it.” Between “still struggling,” and “made it.” And between “not good enough,” and “enough.”

What I’m asking, I suppose, is when do we know we’ve really done enough?

I’m putting this out there, not just because I see it in my own life over and over. But because I see it in so many artist’s lives over and over. I have a friend who is a visual artist, musician, and general Renaissance man. To those of us on the outside, it seems like he’s “doing it.” He’s booked at gigs all over the world; his art is visionary; he seems to live an exciting and creatively-fueled life.

But recently I learned that this seemingly-successful fellow does not see himself in this way at all.

Another friend is an actress – someone I admire and would actually like to get to know better. But the thing is, the woman is always busy. She seems to be booking shows left and right, teaching classes, doing standup. In my mind, she is making waves and kicking ass at what she loves.

But I wonder if she sees it that way. I wonder if she knows that to those of us on the outside, she’s nailing this whole acting career thing.

And then there’s me. For the past eight years or so, I’ve categorized myself on the side of “not doing it.” On the side of “still struggling,” “still working at it,” and “not where I want to be” in my writing career. In my mind, it’s less of a gradient and more like two sides divided by a line. I’m either “there,” or “not there.” And until I’m there, that must mean I’m not there, right?

But what if it isn’t so simple? What if there are not two sides at all, and no gradient, and nothing but:

Here.

Here is where we all are, in this moment. It’s all we’ve got. It’s the place where our stories slip from our lips, telling half-truths to anyone who will listen. In this way we create our own realities: coffins confining us, or open spaces to explore.

So what if, artists and creators, we merely choose to tell a different story – from here?

What if we forget about judging ourselves, just for a moment, for not being where we want to be just yet? For not making the impact we’ve hoped to?

For not “doing it”?

Because if you start from here, just here, you might notice that you’re doing a lot more than you thought. Give yourself some credit.

And maybe, just maybe, start to listen when people tell you what a great job you’re doing. Let it sink in.

You may be making more of an impact than you think.

Remember that one time when I said I was going to write a blog post per month?

Yeah, that was funny.

Please, allow me to include my list of worthy excuses at the end of the post, so as to save some time here.

The reason I’m writing now after something of a hiatus, is more or less just to let you all know that yes, I’m still alive, and yes, I do plan to keep up with this blog. Occasionally.

That being said, I’m not going to make it my number one priority. I realize more and more that life is best spent outside and face to face with other people, rather than peering into the (albeit mysterious) depths of my computer screen. It’s about dancing, and laughing, and playing. It’s about connecting with people, acting a fool, and falling. Always falling.

This is the life that I want to live, and this is my priority. When writing fits into that, as it is now, I will joyously sit down in front of my computer screen or typewriter and type away- but more and more, forcing myself to write feels like a grind. After all, people tend to work so hard always in hopes of some day, some day finding the time to really live.

Now, I’m not saying that writing is always work – in fact, much of the time it’s a beautiful mediation for me. But I think I’ve decided to go ahead and retire from work – writing when it feels like work, exercise that feels like torture, spending time with people who feel like a job – and instead, allow myself to play and let things present themselves to me, rather than chasing them down. Things like the urge to sit down and write – like now; things like ideas, people, and circumstances. Things like opportunities, experiences, and abundance.

When you’re not searching for these things, it’s funny how they present themselves to you. And by funny, I mean Extremely Obvious-Why-Don’t-We-Remember-This-All-of-the-Time-When-We’re-Banging-Our-Heads-Against-the-Wall-Just-Trying-to-Make Things-Happen.

So I’ll be back to write more, maybe in a week or two, maybe in a few months, maybe next year.

PEACE.

WORTHY LIST OF EXCUSES
1. I have been focusing my attention on other things*
2. My mind has been elsewhere
3. A raccoon broke into my home and rummaged through my trashcan, found nothing but paper, so he stole my computer and left a menacing note
4. I’ve decided to go into politics under a pseudonym that rhymes with Ernie Flanders.
5. Contemplating the universe
6. Deep meditation
7. Chinese finger traps

* improv, spending time with friends, family stuff, see point No. 3….

WRITING.

That’s right, I am writing. No, not in this blog post (though yes, that’s very astute of you), but in life.

I’ve been doing a lot of Typewriter Rodeo events here in Austin, which if you haven’t checked it out, you really should: http://typewriterrodeo.com/

And the funny thing about using that part of my brain – is that it just doesn’t get worn out. The more I write, the more I want to write.

So, inspired by my poetry-slinging the past several weeks, I’ve decided to go ahead and start working on Book Three in the Peter Able series.

I’m already one chapter in, and plan on finishing the book in the next few months. Because when I start a project, I have a pattern that looks something like this: work feverishly at all hours obsessively forever and ever until it is done, polished, edited, and perfected.

So, that’s all really. I just wanted to let you guys know that, YES, the third book is in the works, and YES, you will soon be able to read books one, two, and three – all in one sitting, if you’re anything like me – and YES, I seem unable to stop writing.

Hence this post to you.

The moral of this story is: If you know you love to do something but have been putting it off for whatever reason, don’t beat yourself up about putting it off. Just let it ride out. Once you stop putting so much pressure on yourself to do that thing that you’ve built up in your mind so much!!!! – you will simply and easily, do it. And it will be glorious. And you will shine.