Morning Pages 11/2/13

by Chris de Serres

It’s been a long time since I thought about writing again. Not just the occasional blogging, but really devoting a routine. I was reading this book called War of Art and it got me really fired up. I remember many years ago when I used to fill notebooks. I would write at least a few times a week. It was a thing. I am a writer. I don’t get paid for it. I have had very little ‘in print’, but none of that matters. It’s what feels right. What I feel inside. I really liked Julia Cameron’s idea about Morning Pages. Just get up in the morning and write 3 pages. They don’t have to be good. Just do it. It looks very cold and miserable outside. I can see the droplets coming off the electric wire outside my window. I’m just thinking about what I should write about. When I was younger I had many ideas. I even spoke with Opie about writing her book a few months back, but that seems a daunting prospect. It feels almost as if we are at a different place in our lives and to revisit our early relationship would be very weird for me.

I think of all the these we have ahead of us. In a few months I will be debt-free for the first time in my adult life. I think in one way having debt is a way of avoiding risky choices. I have worked at my current job for over 10 years. It provides stability in my life. It’s the only job i’ve ever known after college. Before college I was in the military, which takes care of you so well it’s like living at home with mom and dad. Career-wise I have never taken a chance. I’ve never really put myself out there and tried to pursue something scary. Like writing. Actually doing it seriously. Or climbing mountains and taking it seriously. I’m good with hobbies. They are safe and temporary. I can walk away from them any time I want, and boy have I walked away from many. Walking away is sort of what I know. I’m often more comfortable having an activity choose me, then me choose the activity. Commitment has always been scary.

Yet I am not the same person I was. I did commit. To my wife. To my daughter. I’m changing. Being debt-free is a huge opportunity for me. It is one of those big orange roadblocks shifted aside to the curb. But this time I want to choose something for me. Not a career with good medical or benefits. Not something stable for my family. Something for me. Something scary. The good kind of scary. The scary that says you care deep down in your gut. That’s how I want to live my life. Out of the comfort zone. I’m 39 years old. It’s about time I take this journey. My wife runs a successful business. My amazing daughter is watching me and seeing how I approach life. What do I want her to know about life? About taking risks for what you believe in? About not settling? I want to risk big because I believe in myself. I believe I can make a living writing and climbing. I believe in travel. In a simple, low-impact lifestyle. In Yoga and Meditation. In Spirituality. In following my passion. In holding myself accountable to my dreams. I want to eat better and work out. I want a healthier body. I am capable of so much more than this. Change is happening. Change is good. The butterflies in my stomach should be my compass. If it scares me, it’s the right thing. I don’t want to continue to do the same things i’ve done. I want to experience new things. It takes courage to step into the fire. That’s what I want.

Writing is my profession. Like Steven Pressfield in War of Art said, there’s a difference between amateurs and professionals. Professionals come to work each day, and stay at work each day. We show up no matter what. We don’t overidentify with our jobs. It’s something you do. Writing is something to be respected and nurtured. It’s not some fucking hobby. Not anymore. This is real life. It’s not a game. I love this stuff but I also need to get paid for this stuff if THIS is what I want to do. No one can show me or tell me how it’s done. Ultimately I have to find my own way in this writing profession. I have to be ruthless. I have to go for the jugular. I have to be a writer.