Yesterday, I went through my email and unsubscribed to all the shopping sites, business advice, news feeds, and writers’ groups. I found myself spending far too much time checking unwanted emails, deleting emails I never read, and reading about writing when I actually could be writing.

I’m finding it hard to have the courage to be myself. I’m a list person. I figure out what I need to do to carry out something. I make a list. I check it off. The problem is, my lists don’t include writing … and if I really stay true to who I am, I must write.

I’m afraid a lot of the times. I’m afraid of criticism, of being laughed at, of being misunderstood, of being mistakenly understood, of hating my own words, of quitting, of failing. Aren’t we all? Perhaps success doesn’t come to all who have courage, but I question whether success comes to anyone who doesn’t.

In an effort to simplify and be courageous about my desires, I must recognize I can’t get everything right. And so, I need to get the important things right.

I want to write. Then…write.

Sounds easy.

It’s not.

It’s going to take a real commitment. A get-up-at-five-in-the-morning-and-hammer-out-chapters kind of commitment. It’s going to take a public declaration and a public humiliation if I don’t complete it. So, here goes:

I pledge to myself, my family, and my readers, that I will complete my novel in the next six months.

Simple. Precise. Confining! Scary! Argghh! So I’m going to press the publish button before I change my mind.