I thought this would be the triumphant year in which I wrote a book.
Apparently, it is to be the year I learn to write a book.
(If you’re following, yes—I still plan to have it finished soon.)
Three months will mark the anniversary of setting off to finish my little “masterpiece.”
By the end of October 2016, I thought I had everything necessary to push it through the final rounds of editing.
By the end of January 2017, I realized the whole thing needed to be rewritten. (Upwork beta readers at $30 a pop and growing subconscious fear led me to this decision.)
It needed more information to deserve the title How to Travel For Free. I was not happy with this fact. I wanted to be finished with my first book.
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You didn’t make the wrong decision.
There is no wrong decision.
It doesn’t exist behind you, nor in the minds of yourself or others. It doesn’t exist anywhere.
There was never any outcome with judgment attached to it. There was just an outcome. That’s all.
We exist rather negligibly in a gargantuan universe. Applying a subjective human judgment system to the outcomes we think we’ve created is a bit…grandiose.
Every moment leading up to now has simply been a stepping stone. Every moment has served one singular purpose: to get you to now, and now, and (wait for it)…now.
Lucky for you…
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What do you want to be when you grow up?
Don’t answer that.
You can spend a lifetime chasing after that question. Landing on something, asking if it’s right…wondering if you’ve made a mistake. Deciding to wait, stay, or try something else.
The five-year-old son of a friend came home the other day distressed.
My friend said, “What’s wrong?”
The crestfallen child admitted, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”
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Hey, I'm Meggan, a vagabond writer, reader, & explorer. My mission? Freedom to do what I want and help you do the same. I’ll be sharing the inspiration, thoughts, and roadblocks I encounter in the quest. Come along, won't you?
“Act as if.”
You can probably figure out what it means, but I’ll nonetheless offer a little furtherance: Act as if means to play pretend with hope that your feelings and life follow the intent.
“ You might also say “Fake it ’til you make it.”
It’s so simple—it’s playing pretend—yet so much resistance arises (for me, at least) in implementing the behavior.
This is not support group mumbo jumbo, these are scientifically-backed mottos.
You’ve probably heard how smiling actually makes people happier or people with botox literally become less angry overall because they are less able to make angry faces.
These are just a few ways psychologists have proven that we are much more able to influence our feelings with our actions than we think.
I’ve been working on inhabiting this space, this life, as a writer for about eight months now.
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When I began writing this blog October, it was for the premeditated purpose of gaining an audience for when my book launched.
All the authors whom I’d listened to in interviews said that this was the main thing they would’ve done differently if they were starting over fresh because the email audience turned out to be their top buyers.
Being the go-getter that I am, I rode the coattails of their mistakes all the way to town.
Well, I mean, it’s a small town; I don’t have many subscribers.
But it turns out I wasn’t doing the blog thing just to gain an audience for my book.
I was blogging for a lot of reasons that I had yet to realize.
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You haven’t heard of Life Block?
Well, look, you know what writer’s block is…
Life Block is writer’s block…but with life.
Allow me to explain…
When we have writer’s block, it’s usually either because
1. We are not informed enough on the subject at-hand
2. We’re fearful of the finished product (often subconsciously)
3. We’re simply too disinterested to put in the work.
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The great thing about real fog—the misty, creeping stuff—is that you tend to know it’s there.
You look out the window in the morning or descend a road into some rolling country valley and you know that you must treat the world, the outside, with care.
Safety becomes a concern. It’s automatic.
Turns out that mental fog doesn’t work that way.
Instead, it’s in you as much as you’re in it.
It’s snaking through your ears, resting on the crevices of your brain, wafting out your mouth as you smile and chat with a friend…
Without realizing it, you’ve simply become enveloped.
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Here’s the thing:
I am 100% reluctant to write this post.
I’m not blogging about love and stuff. I’m not a teenager anymore. You don’t want to see the things I was writing then.
But the subject matter? Ohhh, I’m still dealing with that.
Fine. It’s love stuff. And I’m writing about it.
But why not? Is there a creative person out there—a person out there—who doesn’t get thrown off by love or some bastardization therein?
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The thing about having this blog is that amidst all the reward of feeling like I am connecting with you (yes, you!) and “finding my voice” and all that is that I am also unable to avoid the painful discrepancies in my work tendencies.
The history of my habits is written out here for all of us to see.
I’m exposed, and I cannot run from evidence.
So…I really kind of feel like a f*ck up.
When I decided to become a writer, it was like being handed a lovely and colorful patchwork quilt. The sweet kind that you find in your grandmother’s guest bedroom.
It was rolled up tightly and bound with a with a shiny ribbon bow-tied with various hues of red.
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Not with all the words in the world can we do ourselves justice.
Not with a sentence or a talk or a video or a book can we do feelings that fill us any honorable service.
How did I get here this morning?
I couldn’t hear my thoughts.
And I try to write them and bring myself to a place of sanity (don’t worry, I’m fine, I’m sane) and all I’m given are words.
Words to represent feelings when all feelings want to do is represent themselves.
How do we feel feelings, I ask?
It is a squeaking hamster wheel in the pit of my stomach. A grey lump in the lower part of my throat. Elbows that wish to float. Ears that burn or sparkle.
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Are you that person who can stick to routine no matter what the circumstance?
Who can set the phone down after a crisis call from your sister and then lace up for your morning run?
Or wake up after your first night in Paris and knock out the hour of writing you accomplish every morning?
Or receive an offer for free nachos and don’t cancel the healthy dinner you’d planned to cook for yourself?
If you’re that person, this post is not for you.
Do you ever spend so much time trying to figure out what to do with your time that the figuring out of things becomes a significant chunk of what you actually do with your time?
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Two white cats eat their lunch here before me.
I’m watching them crouch up against their food as the black one shimmies up against my leg asking me for a thing I can’t understand.
And it’s a bit silly because they’re not mine and neither is this house and we’re all pretending we belong just fine, but I guess we’re all better for it.
They, for one, get to eat, and I, for two, get to live for free in Austin, Texas.
At least for a little while.
There’s this area of my creative pursuits that I haven’t written about so much because I blab about it endlessly in my upcoming book, but said book isn’t out yet so here we go:
The thing is housesitting.
Let’s talk about it because look, this whole starting-life-as-a-freelancer-creative-whatever thing often proceeds in fits and starts.
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Recently 30, I’ve pressed the reset button on my life and begun a quest to figure out how to shape this thing called life into exactly what I want. I’m self-educating (read: fumbling blindly) to learn how to make a living as a writer and how to be my own business. I’ll be documenting my progress, blabbling about my travels along the way, interviewing cool people, and hopefully making this fun and inspiring for all of us. Join the e-mail list, come along!