It’s Go For Broke Day!
It’s also the first anniversary of Emmett’s book blog, “Tell My Story”!
One year ago, I was thinking about how to get motivated towards writing Emmett’s book. I’d been in the data/information gathering mode for almost a year. I was feeling antsy. I wanted to start writing things, to get into a regular writing habit, and to clear some of the information out of my head.
My husband said I should do a blog for the book. He said it would be a good idea to share how the story came about and what I’m doing with the research. Someone out there may be able to help find the missing scrapbooks or provide other information — and — I would get into a regular writing habit.
While I liked the idea, it felt risky to me, to put it out there that:
- I’m writing a book,
- I’ve never managed a project of this size before,
- The topic is completely new and overwhelming at times, and bottom line,
- I’m afraid of doing a shitty job with Emmett’s book.
The last item defines accurately why I resist most things in my life. I’m afraid of doing a bad job. So, my logic says, if I don’t do it in the first place, I can’t fail. Yeah, my husband said, but then, you always regret not doing it down the road.
Have you heard of Ariel and Shya Kane? They lead personal transformation workshops. A colleague at U of MD recommended their book to me a while back. Their philosophy is based on living life on life’s terms, staying present in the current moment, and not saying ‘no’ (resisting) whatever shows up in your life (because whatever you resist in your life, persists, and ends up dominating your life). I learned more about them by reading one of their books, Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work.
I find many of their philosophies similar to those in the AA program. For instance, current circumstances in one’s life does not dictate one’s well being. It is about how we deal with (i.e. accept, not resist) situations as they arise, and not necessarily label them: good, bad, boring. Things simply happen. Every ‘thing’ (or situation) has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We need to find a way to work with these situations, and be a part of their solution, not a passive whiner about them.
Just a different take on sane advice, in my view. I think the book is worth reading.
The blog opportunity presented itself. My gut told me this was a good idea. My gut also said that if I resisted now, a few weeks or months down the road, I’d regret it not doing it. That regret would just stay with me, nagging until I did something about it.
So, I took a chance, ‘went for broke,’ did not resist.
I’m glad I did.
By the way, I had no idea that the birthday of Emmett’s blog and “Go for Broke Day” were the same date.
That’s the story of how the blog began. It has been great on many levels: A regular writing ‘assignment’ keeps me productive. Reporting on what’s going on also helps me work out the kinks on the research — it helps me figure out where to direct my time. Also, I’ve met a lot of great people through the blog who are also interested in the research. One kind gentleman who has an antique business actually had a photo of Emmett’s older sister that I’d never seen before and sent it to me because of the story I did about her on the blog.
Did I think doing the blog would be easy? Writing has never been hard for me, mostly because I have not written outside of my comfort zone (educational theory and practice).
Taking on the story of another human being’s life is definitely different. I have had to learn to handle difficult/uncomfortable information and difficult/uncomfortable sources. Talk about learning how to work outside of a comfort zone — It isn’t easy to call up someone cold, who I’ve never spoke to before, but I have discovered that once you break the ice, it is fine.
Meeting Emmett and writing about his life has been, so far, one of the best things that has happened to me. I’m thankful for it, and thankful for you for visiting the blog.
So, today begins a new year here in Emmett Wilson research land! I hope you stick around and visit often!
Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
The University of Maryland Global Campus