I must admit: The title alone was the first thing that drew me to Unfuck Yourself, by Gary John Bishop. Those who know me well knows how f***ed up I’ve been with my writing for the past six years after Just Flirt came out. Actually, the few people who have been reading this blog for any amount of time has most likely come to that conclusion as well. I won’t get into a long, boring story about why I’ve fallen into a major writing slump … that’s a tale for a different day. Instead, I’ll just summarize by saying every writer has mental demons.
Mine have been winning. Like, seriously winning.
So I’m clearly someone who needs to learn how to get out of their head and JUST WRITE, dammit, because I am a good writer! Two major publishers and one kick-butt agent wouldn’t have taken a chance on me had I not been talented and if I’m ever going to finally bust through this wall that has held me back for far too long … err, correction, I’ve ALLOWED to hold myself back … then the time is now because I’m less than a year away from being fifty, dammit, so what am I waiting for??
Whoa. That last sentence was a bit much, right? Right. Okay, back to the book.
Now, it’s not just written for writers. It’s for anyone who thinks too much and allows mental barries such as doubt, fear, procrastination, and resistence to keep them from living the life they’re meant to live. I ended up buying the audio version thanks to a great introductury deal by Audible and I’m so glad I did! Gary John Bishop’s powerful words packed more of a punch through his emphasis … and yeah, okay, his Scottish accent was quite pleasant to listen to. Thanks to our new Joyful Miles step challenge, I listened to it while taking evening walks, and I gotta tell you: I had to listen to Chapter Six three times since it dealt with taking action.
I need to take more action.
So this section was crucial for me. Lately, I’ve been reading so many writing and personal development books in hopes that the perfect formula for getting me out of my head and into my dream life as a successful writer will leap from the pages, solving all my problems. I’ve tried many different life planning systems in hopes that the new one will make me productive. But while those books have been amazing and some of the systems I’ve tried have ending up becoming habits, my mind is still messed up. Or as Gary would say, I’ve yet to unf*ck myself.
And truth is, I may never truly do so.
But until then, I can take action. I can do something rather than sit around stewing, waiting for the perfect moment. And the more I take action despite my crazy thoughts, the more they will eventually calm down. Or not. It really doesn’t matter because in the meanwhile, I still have written books and pursued my dreams.
And Chapter Nine. Oh my gosh. Talk about a punch in the gut and major boot to the booty! I was vacuuming during this chapter and had to sit to take it all in when Gary asked me to imagine my death bed … and the remorse I would feel from not taking action, from allowing myself to be stymied by my ridiculous fears and worries.
What would you give if you could go back to this moment, the one in which you are reading this book and do things differently? If only. Dammit, wake up!
Gotta tell you. This one hit me hard. Real hard. And okay, maybe much of this book is stuff that I’ve heard before in the many, many personal development books I’ve read. But it’s the WAY he says it, the WAY he delivers this much-needed message that really sunk in and stirred my soul.
So in short, I absolutely loved this total gem of a book. It’s now right up there with Stephen King’s On Writing, Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, and James N. Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Novel II, books I try to read once a year. This and another book I’ve read recently, Stop Worrying: Start Writing by Sarah R. Painter, (which I’ll talk about next Tuesday,) has helped me to finally take action and start editing my own midgrade novel draft that I finished writing in April!
Oh, and yeah for those who are bothered by saucy language, there is a bit as the title suggests. But it’s used sparingly and just at the right moment! If you do read this book, be sure to come back and share your thoughts in the comments below. I love a good book chat!
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