Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Figuring out which want will win

For several years now, I’ve had numerous people tell me I should write a book. They read or hear stories of my life, and then proclaim I need to write about it.

I usually smile and say thank you, but inside, my only thought is, “I don’t know how to write a book.” So I don’t do anything with their advice.

From the time I can remember I’ve taken most people’s counsel to heart and even felt a sense of “obligation” that I should follow through with their guidance. Which for most of my life has created a sense of pandemonium in my brain.

And that’s probably why I’ve also felt the need to journal.

Writing things down separates out the things I think I’m supposed to do from the things I want to do. Or at least defines the things I don’t want to do.

In trying to figure out career paths or job opportunities, I used to ask myself, “What can I do?” When I finally figured out I can do almost anything, a better question came to mind.

“What do I want to do?”

So circling back to the beginning of this post my question to myself shouldl be, “Do I want to write a book?”

And that’s where the dilemma comes in.

On one hand, I do want to compose a book because I have a need to not only tell my story, but also get recognition for doing so. There I said it.

I’ve come to realize recognition is important to me. Maybe because I’m the 11th of 13 children, and got the amount of attention commensurate with that number? Or maybe it’s just the way I’m wired?

Doesn’t really matter why just as long as I know it to be true… and own it.

And then on the other hand, I don’t want to write a book because I’m afraid.

I am terrified that I will fail miserably. I have no formal education (one of my standard lines for just about everything I do). And I honestly don’t know the first thing about writing a book.

How do I begin when I don’t know where the beginning is?

So here I sit wondering which want I want more?  We say we want to do things all the time, but then don’t seem to accomplish many goals. So how badly did we actually want those things?

How badly do I want to write a book?

Right, I know, I’m not really asking you to answer that question. It’s one only I can resolve. So instead of making a big declaration here and proclaiming I intend to write my book this year, I’m going to sit with it for a bit.

Time to do some research and figure out which want I really want.

14 Comments

  1. I honestly think less formal training or education may HELP you write a book that more people will find interesting and easy to read. Your relate-ability makes people connect to you, love you and won’t let you put the story down! This relate-ability will give you the recognition you want/deserve. I love that we are so similar yet so different! I relate to you sooo much, on so many levels – we are sisters from another mister! However…I do not want recognition. I know that I’m must happier being the one right behind #1. So when your book makes you rich and famous I’d be happy being your assistant! 🙂

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2019-01-11 at 09:40

      Thank you my friend.

      I feel like such an amateur most times. And a fraud.

      I so appreciate you and your encouragement…it means a lot to me Cindy. Most the times I just need to work through things in my head for like a minute…but this one has me stalled for sure. I’m giving myself this month to find my way!! Xx

  2. You were talking about this book when I first “met” you months ago. What is your concern? It’s stuck with you all this time. Don’t let fear control you! You don’t have a formal education, but I bet in your circle of friends someone does who can guide you. We all fail at things, my friend, but it means we’re actually taking chances! I have faith in you!
    Melanie https://www.mels2ndact.com

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2019-01-12 at 10:33

      Thank you Melanie!

      I have always been one to just jump in and go, but I honestly think I’m taking time with this because I want to do it right! Not just “do it”, you know?

  3. Stephanie Skelly

    2019-01-11 at 20:34

    I have been learning to sit for a bit on things (and generally wish I had when I don’t) I haven’t decided if I want recognition or affirmation.. or if they are really the same thing. Thanks for sharing this. It’s affirming to me. I learn a lot about myself reading your blog posts. Thank you for sharing your life, your thoughts, and your heart. It’s risky business!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2019-01-12 at 10:34

      Stephanie, thank you so much for this! Writing does help me figure out “me” and it feels good not to rush into this…as I have done with everything else in my life!!

  4. Hi Loretta!
    You should just do it. Write it all out and consider it your first draft. The process may take somewhere you weren’t expecting.
    I recently read “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t –And Other Tough-Love Truths to Make You a Better Writer” by Steven Pressfield. He tells you how to create compelling stories people want to read (or watch). It’s going to be my users manual for anything I write in the future. That is if I can get past my crippling imposter syndrome and crippling perfectionism, lol. Good luck!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2019-01-13 at 08:05

      Thank you for the info Catherine!

      I’m reading Stephen King, “On Writing” right now and love it! I’ll check out Steven Pressfield’s book too because I totally believe that!!

      I feel like my blog has been my “draft” and if I’m going to produce a book I already have somewhat of an outline. I am trying to decide what kind of book I want to write. Non-fiction, fiction, self-help…

  5. I think you should just start. Maybe at first, start with writing your “book” as part of you journal. You will see this and until you are ready, no one else will.

    I understand how you feel about needing recognition. I was the oldest of two girls. I did the right things, didn’t get in trouble, etc. My sister on the other hand – well let’s just say, she got most of the attention and recognition. I also work in a male-dominated field and have always looked for recognition.

    I started my blog partly because I needed the validation that as a woman, I still mattered to the world and what I have to say and how I live my life is important on some level. I know that I matter to my family but I felt like I needed more.

    Like Cindy, I don’t want to be rich or famous, being number 2 (maybe 1.5) is just fine with me!

    Start writing!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2019-01-14 at 09:11

      Thank you for sharing, Kim! Love hearing other people’s stories too.

      I have been writing…for over a year and a half. Here on my blog. It’s not that I don’t want to write, it’s that I wasn’t sure I wanted to write a book. But, I will keep writing either way!

  6. Deborah Gutierrez

    2019-01-18 at 15:14

    You set the boundary and the schedule so now you Get to write. In my mind saying this is your year to write, whatever comes of that will be something significant for you, and I have a feeling for many others.

    I believe we all want to feel significant and have a sense of meaning for doing what we do. Writing for you I think will bring that meaning, significance, and recognition. Hey, we are reading so I hope that helps.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2019-01-18 at 16:39

      Thank you Deb…well said.

      I love that word: significant. It is so important, isn’t it??

      XX

  7. Hi Loretta, Well, this is quite the coincidence. Like you,I have this pull,for me,it’s to create visual art and to sing. Also, to comfort people. Those are the top three anyway, I’m all over the place often. I too recently asked myself if part of these desires included the need for recognition. That is a word that made me feel embarrassed, selfish, ashamed. Thinking on it further,I had this observation that I’m what I’d call a noticer. So maybe part of what I want when I engage in music, visual art and volunteering is to be noticed back. Maybe when we act on what we are drawn to and give we also want to receive back. Is that wrong? Is that selfish? In writing this at this moment I’m thinking that no, it is just human. I also never finished a formal education, tried college three times. I struggled mostly with Math, Science. Logically, spirituality I recognize that my imperfections do not make me less valuable than anyone else but I routinely fall into my own insecurity trap. Fear often shuts me down. ( I don’t have a degree, I’m not good with tech, my art isn’t as good as his, she sings better than me,I’m too old(59 in May), I’m out of shape,I’m always tired…blah,blah,blah.) Oh and maybe the next new planner will help. Hmmm, folks say that if you want something bad enough you’ll do it. I don’t know if it’s that simple for some of us. In closing I’m really surprised that I wrote all of this, and publicly, to someone I’ve never met . You really caught me at the right time. One step at a time is what I’m going to keep reminding myself. Thanks for putting this out here, I think you are helping people more than you know.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2019-01-28 at 09:36

      Well first, thank you so much for sharing, Susan! I’m learning to own who I am and not be so critical or defensive. You are not wrong for wanting to be noticed. As you said, that is who you are; someone who notices people. It makes sense that you want it back. I say we own it and wear it proudly!

      And secondly, I will be 60 in May! You are right behind me, lady! Xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: