I sat on the hammock at my cottage yesterday and paused Netflix on my phone. I opened my laptop and felt ready to get some thoughts down in a document. A lot has happened since I was writing last. Maybe I'll feel refreshed after this.
I went to open up the document with all of the words I've spent hours written before, except I couldn't remember what I called it. I have four google accounts and three microsoft accounts so I started searching through them. But I couldn't find it anywhere.
I checked my laptop's notes app, not believing that I forgot to back it up on a reliable platform, and found that all of my notes had been cleared. An empty document was waiting for me to start filling it in once again.
Well. That must have been where it was.
After many searches of my accounts again, I can say that what I started was gone. I lost my novel.
I've always wanted to write a book, but the idea of having a book release party that no one would come too has always held me back. Anxiety and vanity are mentos and Pepsi for me.
Would I have small sandwiches? Would I have an e-book version? Would I have to do a reading? I don't even know what kind of category or overall message I could write 300+ pages on...
But I had started. After my coworker told me of this tragic hopelessness she felt in our company, I remembered immediately the connection between us that comes from vulnerability and raw emotions. People at work met her in her hopelessness and with that, I remembered who we are as people.
I started writing, and I felt like I knew what I was doing.
I want to write about people in a way that lets the readers figure out what to think for themselves. I don't want an all-encompassing book that tells people how to think. Our generation is sick of that sh*t.
I want a book that shows people in their vulnerability, courage, bravery and emotional state. We don't see any of that and we don't build connections that are strong enough for the spectrum of emotions we have.
We're lonely together.
I took this missing document as a sign to stop. Everything means something to me and this sign means that no one would show up to my book release; my 2012 Mac is doing me a favour. Then I caught myself.
Today I did a final search of my accounts and nothing changed. Except I clicked on my blog and started typing once again.
The things that are hard to do get easier with time. When I started writing my book, it had been months since my last entry. Now, it only took me a month to get back at it.
I'm deciding to believe that I lost my last draft because it's just part of how I'm developing the really, really good stuff. I still want a book about people and it will come.
But in the spirit of talking about self-talk patterns in this blog, I wanted to show how I turned it around. Losing my draft still sucks, but I'm deciding the narrative I want to believe right now.
We all have this choice, even though it seems impossible at times.
Do you believe that we choose the signs that we see? I do. Especially in our fast-paced society, when we spend so much time staring at a screen, we miss a lot of messages. We choose what we believe to mean something based on our perceptions.
I'm choosing to look at my lost draft as a sign that I have to give this my all. I have to be picky because I'm passionate about crafting something that I'm proud of.
What signs have you missed?