At the end of 2017, I started thinking about launching a podcast. It was going to be about living a life of freedom – choosing the road less traveled and pursuing big dreams. It was called Freed Up.
I’d lined up interviews with a family in the US who sold their city house and moved out to the country to start a farm, and with a British rapper who owns his own record label, and with a nutritionist friend who was going to talk about finding freedom in our relationships with food.
I started collaborating with a designer on branding. In January, I started losing momentum a little, so I posted about it on Instagram and had several people sign up for a launch team – thinking that sometimes getting the word out infuses me with a renewed motivation. Sometimes other people’s enthusiasm can help carry me when my own is waning.
But it didn’t work. And it wasn’t just because I lost enthusiasm.
I read a quote today by author Allison Fallon (from Twitter, no less) that explained what I’d been feeling.
Another note on writing books: I’ve never been more convinced that the books we write choose us, more than we choose them. You do not “try” to write a book so much as it haunts you until you pay attention to it. Then, finally, when it hurts to much to ignore, you pay attention.
— Allison Fallon (@missallyfallon) May 22, 2018
Long before The Podcast Idea, was The Book Idea. I wrote about it a few months ago here – about the worst year of my life. But out of the worst year of my life was born that book that haunts me. It’s the thing I can’t stop thinking about.
The podcast is a good idea. But the book is a non-negotiable.
The podcast is a fun thing I could try. The book is an act of obedience.
And when you’re a mom who runs a business and has friends and a very large vegetable garden, the hard fact of life is that there isn’t always room for the good idea and the non-negotiable at the same time, in the same space.
So what has to happen? The good idea must be put down for a season.
The Fun Thing I Could Try must be sacrificed for the Act of Obedience.
I emailed my launch team in early March to tell them my decision. Here’s a line from that email:
I started writing a memoir in January. I told Simon, actually, right before I started writing it, that sometimes everything I do feels like one more thing I’m making up to keep myself from doing the one thing I was always meant to do. I’ve had this book inside of me for 30 years, and I swear, if I don’t write it soon I’m going to implode. I don’t want to be 80 and regret that I never did this one thing I always dreamed of doing. Other than getting married and having children, it’s the only dream I’ve dreamed for my entire life. So I need to do it.
They were incredibly gracious and encouraging, and when I don’t feel like writing, I think of them. And you. And of all the people who have read the things I’ve written about faith and hope and heartbreak and doubt and have said, “Me too…”
That’s who I’m writing this book for.
And it’s also why it felt so right to put down the podcast for now. Because how can I record a show about living a life of freedom when this thing that’s burning inside of me won’t let me go? How could I say no to that burning and talk about living a life true to the unique person you were created to be?
I said a hard no so that I could say a better yes. And I think – I hope – that in itself is the spirit of of being freed up.