The End of Inertia
Welcome to Library Confidential.
Well, I suppose I better get started on this thing, and September is here.
Truth is, I’ve been procrastinating on starting my next book for a good, long while now.
Procrastinating so badly that I wrote another book -The Magic Key, instead of this one. I am actually starting to feel guilty about it - and usually I let myself off the hook pretty easily about these things.
But you know, life happens: kids, school, husband, house, pets - it’s easy to get distracted by all the things.
I am all for going with the flow, but I keep drifting away from this project. Library Confidential: A Not So Quiet Memoir needs to be written, but I can’t seem to settle in, to settle down, to actually sit my butt in the chair and start writing this book.
Inertia is the hardest force in the universe to overcome. Creating sustainable habits? I fail often. And yet, I get things done, and I’m ever hopeful.
(I am completely aware that the deeper issue is that - writing this book is going to dig up nasty emotions and hard feelings that I’ve been avoiding, and speaking the truth of these things may not be...easy? comfortable? Is that the word? I keep feeling like I just don’t wanna. But also me: I just gotta. This is a story that I’ve got to share.)
So, whatever. Time to lean in. Time to face the fact that I’ve got to do the work. The actual labor of writing.
No more day job. Summer is over. Kids are back in school. House has been organized and cleaned. Hub is working at his desk in the bedroom and we have a daily routine established.
I’ve waited my entire life to be in this position.
Every reason I’ve had for procrastinating is pretty much invalid at this point. Deep sigh.
I published my first book two years ago, on my 48th birthday, September 14, 2019.
I published my second book less than two months ago, in July of 2021.
I left my library career of twenty years in June.
My side-hustle writing and coaching gig is now my full-time business.
And yet I feel like I’ve cut myself too much slack. Why? I don’t know. Guilt is my default setting, even though I actively fight it.
I tell my coaching clients that they have to be ready, really ready, to write their memoir.
And I guess I’m ready. I’m not sure if I’m ready. Are we ever really sure we’re ready?
I don’t know. I don’t know if it even matters. All I know is that it’s September 1st, and it’s time to get to work. Ready or not. This book needs written.
I’m turning 50 years old in a couple of weeks. I don’t feel bad about it and I still feel young and juicy and rebellious and I feel lucky to have made it this far.
There is a certain freedom that comes with age - I’m enjoying every bit of being who I am and where I’m at. I’ve let my hair grow long and gray and I wear my Birkenstocks with socks. In public, even. (although you’ll never catch me dead without mascara and eyeliner).
Still, 50 - it’s kind of a shocking number, for some reason.
I guess it means I’m old enough to get over my own bullshit and trust the process again. I know how it goes. I’ve written two books.
Writer, unblock thyself. Time to push past the avoidance phase.
Do you know what else I’ve been avoiding?
Blogging. Or whatever we’re calling it now. I was so focused on writing my first two books that any kind of blogging felt so...ugh. I did it occasionally, but not enthusiastically. Most of my version of blogging was done via my Instagram account (@metalheadlibrarian), which was a nice way to blend efforts without having to maintain a separate thing.
In fact, here’s a link to an old blog from three years ago that states my ambivalence about blogging: https://annamarieobrien.com/2017/04/04/blog-confessions/
Pretty wild, eh?
So welcome to my Substack! I’m super-enamoured of the possibilities with this platform and its commitment to free speech - that’s a thing for me, as a librarian - and I guess this will be my 42nd attempt at writing in a bloggish kind of way.
Thanks for being here with me as I try to get this thing to float. It might be an ugly effort, but that’s just how it goes.
I’ll send updates and tidbits every so often. I’ll try and keep it light and inspiring, but my main goal is to keep it real. I may drop a bad word on occasion. I am prone to heartfelt sarcasm once in a while. But I try to wrap it all in hope, joy, kindness, and empathy. I’m a writer, I’m a writing coach, I’m a human, I’m a mom, I’m a cancer-survivor.
I'm inspired to make my life into art. I’m going to write Library Confidential while documenting it here, on my Library Confidential Substack.
And maybe it will inspire YOU to keep nurturing your own creativity and pushing past inertia.
See you soon, and do good.