This Sh*t's Exhausting
Sunday night, I had a bit of a crisis. I was deep in the weeds, trying to work on SEO optimization on my website, and coming up with pricing plans for some kind of work that I'm supposed to be doing and failing miserably at both. I had spent the entire day Sunday either grading papers for my class at UC or working on stuff for my site and business. I was fried. And I was hating all of it.
I'm not great at details - we've been over this. And I'm really not great at website stuff. I know how I want it to look and I want to be able to tell someone that and then have them do the background-y, code-type stuff. (Those are technical terms, I'm pretty sure.) For the past five years, I've had a team of people to work with who helped me make all my visions a reality, and doing it all by myself now is really, really, really freaking hard.
So I did what any polished, professional entrepreneur would. I cried. Big ole wet heaving sobs on the couch. At that point, the entire exercise seemed ridiculous. Instead of enjoying my Sunday, reading books and lounging about, relaxing (or doing the mountains of laundry piled up in my laundry room), I sat at my home computer and beat my head against the brick wall of my ineptitude.
The one thing I kept repeating was "why am I doing this to myself?" Why was I making myself miserable and stiff and frustrated over a new challenge when I have plenty of stuff going on in my life already? I work full-time at Legion, and that more than pays my bills, and I teach at UC, and volunteer for a few work groups and boards, and I mentor students, and you know, have a kid of my own. Oh, and I have a relationship with another adult human that needs time and energy and nurturing. Why would I spend all my limited free time working on something new? Something that I'm not even sure I can do, at least not with any great deal of proficiency. It seemed ridiculous, and punitive.
But, after I'd wiped my face and had a drink (or two), I realized that I can't NOT do this. I love Legion, and always will, but I'm also dying to take the knowledge I've gained there and put it to use teaching other people how to have amazing companies and tell amazing stories. But I also needed a break. So at 8 p.m., I picked up the newest Stephen King novel, and spent an hour somewhere other than in my own way. And when I woke up Monday morning, I felt like I would live to fight another day.
The battle to create something, especially by yourself, is long, and it's hard. Putting your passions out into the world for people to judge (and hopefully pay for) is terrifying. But if you believe - and I truly do - that what you have to say is important, or useful, or necessary, you just have to keep pushing. This shit's exhausting, but I know from hard-won experience, when you look back a decade later, it is all worth it. When you know you've created something amazing that has changed people's lives for the better, all the lost Sundays and SEO frustrations fade into the background and you are left with the knowledge that YOU did that. And it is good.