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Writing a Book

Not as straight forward as it would seem.

I’m meant to be writing a book. A couple of books in reality. Let’s be real, I want to write ALL the books, at once, but just start them - make a beautifully complicated mind map, write one chapter then desk it and start another one continuously until the utter despair of never finishing a thought and just holding it all like a swirling tornado inside my rattling brain finally takes me out. It’s the option I’ve been running with for most of my life, but hey, it’s a new year, I guess now is as good a time as any to try something new.

Mind map about doing hard things

But seriously. I’m meant to be writing a book. One for a publisher, the legal contract with whom should, hopefully, be the kick in the pants I need to finish a project. The other book I’m writing is how both you and I find ourselves here in this particular corner of the internet, decorated as it is with my personal detritus, distractions and special interests.

But I’m glad you’re here. It can be a lonely place, the room of your own ideas. Carl Jung said, “Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.” I’ve been chewing on that and realising it’s more true than I’d like.

So you’re here and I’m here and I’m supposed to be writing a book. It’s a book about pain and suffering. Sound like fun? Ok, so not just pain and suffering, but it is about doing hard things and coming to the uncomfortable realisation that everything we (really, truly) want is on the other side of something we don’t want. It’s about growing up - which I’m beginning to think is synonymous with ditching our expectations of life and accepting the brutal reality that it is what it is and it owes us absolutely nothing.

Compelling? Maybe that’s why it’s hard to get subscribers. Hmmmm…..

I’ve been sitting with this for a few years now, turning it over in my head, trying to get the angles right. Because the Buddhists, the Irish, the Stoics, and endurance athletes know things that we optimistic, algorithm-fed, 21st-century consumers find hard to grasp - that life is suffering. Not that it’s terrible, I’m not a nihilist. Life is also beautiful and meaningful and full of surprise and wonder and love. But I’m finding that the key to unlocking a lot of that is to find space for the truth that it is also suffering. It’s made of the stuff. And the real discomfort comes from pretending that it isn’t meant to be that way or that it won’t happen to us or that we won’t have to face it.

So I’m supposed to be writing a book, but it’s hard because the topic is hard even though every single fucking day I’m reminded of how I need to accept the reality I’m in, not the one I wish I was. And every day I’m trying to remember, then forgetting and trying to remember again why I should posture myself toward difficulty.

And I’ve invited you to be here because I need some ears to keep me accountable and some voices to keep me from feeling like I’m yelling into the void (which, I guess, would also be OK). Because I have a Chrome window that has 36 open tabs with things I’ve read that I want to write about in this monstrous, uplifting, beautiful gargoyle of an illustrated book so maybe I’ll just start by writing about them one at a time until I can use my browser without it crashing every other day.

Yeah, that’d be good. And thanks again for being here. I hope you find something here. If you want more, consider becoming a paid subscriber. This is fueled by all the generous and curious folk out there who want to know more about this meandering idea of mine. Thank you again and again.

Time to get those runners on.

xx Kim

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