Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Do I really want that?

"I'd like to publish a book some day."

How many times have I said that during the last two decades or so?

And is it true?

Here's the thing--while theoretically I think it would be super cool to publish a book, I have done absolutely nothing to make that happen. I don't have an outline, a topic, or a plan.

And I've realized, I must not really want it that badly. Chances are, a publisher isn't going to come across my blog and say, "Here's a book deal." If I want to make it happen, I'll have to work hard at it. But right now, it's just not a priority to me. I'm not saying that to beat up on myself. It's perfectly okay for me to be a person who doesn't badly want to publish a book. I just want to be willing to admit that.

I think it's good to examine our "I'd like to..." statements and determine if we really want those things or not. Do you really want to ______ (fill in the blank with "start cooking more," "keep my house more clean," "lose weight," "learn to knit," "stop smoking," "change careers," "make a good friend," "plant a garden," et cetera)?

If you say you'd like to do it and it's not happening, you've got two choices, either of which could be right for your situation.
  • Admit it's not really that important to you, and let it go (at least for now.) Or...
  • Make a plan and start really trying.
You do have a third choice, which is...
  • Keep saying you want it, and don't do anything about it.
But let's be honest--that's a recipe for frustration.

Maybe you don't really want what you say you want. At this point in my life, publishing a book isn't that important.

Maybe you do really want it, and you just need to sit down and figure out how to make it happen. For me, running a 5K at an average of 10 minutes a mile is important, so I'm doing both distance and interval training so that hopefully I'll meet that goal.

What do you say you want? And do you really want it?


Unknown said...

You are so right. It's cool that you've been thinking about this as well...I've been thinking about some things in my life as well. We just completely got rid of satellite (We kept saying we wanted family time and to save $$), and making some other changes...and we have never been happier! Great post!

Call Me Cate said...

Such a very thoughtful post. I'm trying to work myself through some of these questions myself. What do I really want and what am I doing about it?

It would be cool to do and be a lot of things. Maybe I don't want them for myself so much as I just want to admire someone else doing them and be inspired.

Unknown said...

I want to write a book also. Last year I wrote up a summary and an outline. Then I started searching online for similar books. What I found was that I didn't have anything new and unique to say on the subject that made me feel that I could stand out to a publisher. So I decided to just keep it as something I would like to do before I die and wait to see if a subject comes along that feels right.

Mike Trippiedi said...

No need waiting for a publisher. Self-publishing is the way to go. I have several friends that have written books through and they did this for under $50.00. Of course it's up to you to market your own book, but you would have to sell yourself to a publisher anyway, so why not do it all yourself. Just a thought.

Mellodee said...

It's important to remember that throughout life priorities change, continually! What is important at 20, is absurd by 40! There is no grading of how well or how poorly we are at achieving our "wants". So it's totally up to each person to constantly review and update what is important at any given time. The one thing that's great about this, keeping your goals and actions relevant to your needs. No matter if you never accomplish your cherished wishes, you will have accomplished other things that just might have been more important anyway!

Becster said...

I've been reading for a bit now, and I love the way you challenge us to think. Thank you!


I love reading your blog, so I wanted to pass along the Beautiful Blog award. You can pick it up (if you choose to) at:

If you accept this award, just visit the link above to retrieve it and put a copy on your own blog… then tell us 7 things about you and choose 10 bloggers you would like to pass this award along to. Post it on your blog and contact them to let them know you have chosen them - easy! :D
Becky : )

Eternal Lizdom said...

Good thinking and postulating and such, beth.

You could publish a book... lots of options for "blog to book" services. ;) I fully intend to do so. I have a long term plan to get all of the writing I did on my own message board back when I was first pregnant and copy them over to blog posts to preserve the history and then do the blog book thing for my kids.

I know that's not what you mean... but still...

And you are part of my inspiration for the running and fitness thing I've got going on! So thank you for that!!

nopinkhere said...

In a similar vein awhile ago, I decided to try to stop complaining about something unless I was going to actually do something about whatever it was. It's actually quite freeing in a way, because similar to this, you decide what really matters to you at that moment.

LEstes65 said...

I hear you. But I have a list of "I really want to..." things that are just fun to dream about. I really want to have my bed & breakfast with a full dinner theater attached. I really want my own diner with home cooked food that features my chili & chocolate chess pie. I really want to write a book on my adoption story or my divorce survival. I really want to record an album. Of all of those, the last is most realistic and the one thing I really do want to do when I have the money. The others I won't let go of because they're fun to play around with every now and then.