Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Doing What I Want, Because I Can

I've had some nice responses to my last post and my somewhat crazy decision to become a publisher. Thank you!

I mentioned that I was doing this to someone I know offline, and their response was essentially: why in the world are you doing that?

The short answer is: because I want to. The slightly longer answer is: because I want to and I can. So why wouldn't I?

One of things that deciding to just quit my job has made me realize is that I am a lot freer than I was acting. I spent a lot of time thinking "I can't do that!" when in fact, I could.

So now, I am.

I still struggle with self-doubt and imposter syndrome and all that. I doubt I'll ever really conquer those demons. In fact, I'm reading Playing Big,by Tara Mohr, to help me keep them at bay. I'm only a few chapters in, but already I've taken some good ideas from the book. (Fair warning: if you are annoyed by things like guided meditations and discussions of your spirtual purpose, you might not like this book. I tend to just skip the parts that feel like mumbo-jumbo to me and focus on the ideas and messages I find useful.)

I just finished reading the chapter about handling fear, and it made me realize I've recently come up with a new way to handle some of my worries. I remind myself that as long as my kids are clothed and fed and we can pay our mortgage, it doesn't really matter if some endeavor I undertake fails.

I still worry about the contracting work that is funding my more ambitious ideas drying up... so I'm motivated to try to make things succeed. But if they don't? Well, for right now, at least, I've got enough money coming in from contracting to keep us all fed, clothed, and housed. And that's all I really need.

(I'll spare you all the Raffi song that just started playing in my head.)

I've also gotten a lot better at filtering advice I come across (or that is shoved at me). What worked for someone else may not be the right approach for me. I know how I work best, and what I want most, and I can chart my own course. And so I am. It may or may not work out the way I hope, but I'm having a great time trying.

Ah hell, I'll go ahead and play you the Frank Sinatra song that just displaced Raffi:

What about you? Are you doing it your way? What tricks do you use to shut down the voice of self-doubt?


  1. That seems a silly question. Why wouldn't you, if you wanted to and you could?

    Generally I do a fair job of not feeling crippling or stalling self-doubt but when I do, I take a minute to remind myself that I didn't get this far by being incompetent. To the contrary, there's a lot of evidence that I've accomplished a lot if I just take the time to remember that instead of focusing on what it seems like I can't do.

    Though, of late there's a strong feeling of discontentment that feels like it requires me to strike out on my own. For that, my confidence is either as much of or less of the problem than my conscious unwillingness to take an even bigger risk with our finances than I already have. I have to start small and build on various projects to be sure that I can make it non-corporately, to do it my way.

    1. Anonymous6:04 AM

      We're like that too with the finances...probably a little too cautious. But for us having a goal of how much money we need and seeing that we can make it means that we have been able to take career risks, at least for DH. Money can really turn risks into measured risks.

  2. Anonymous6:02 AM


    And whether or not it works out long-term, you're going to have a great time doing it. And you'll learn and grow. Measured risks are awesome.

  3. People ask that "why would you do that" question because they can't comprehend doing something other than what they would do. I once was on a first date and when I said I was going to Australia with some friends, the guy said, "Why are you going there?" Not in a "Oh, how did you pick that destination?" way, but like he really couldn't fathom it.

    We did not have a second date.

  4. I love your attitude, Cloud. Indeed, if you want to do it and you can afford the risk--why the heck not? =)

  5. P.S. Have you listed your small press on Duotrope?


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.