Be Unapologetic About What You Want

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I thought I wanted to be a writer. According to everything I have read, by the act of writing I am a writer. I don’t even have to be any good at writing, apparently. As long as I want to be a writer and I write, then I am a writer.

But I have apologized with every inch of my being for wanting to be a writer ever since I first was told that math and science are where the money and value are – not reading and writing. I have grown and come to terms with my writer ways over the years. But not without apology.

I often feel guilty telling people that I have a blog when asked what I do. I usually tell them the “real” thing that I do, as in the thing that actually produces an income. Then I slip in at the end (nervously) that I have a blog. Talking about myself as a writer makes me feel super apologetic. Like I haven’t earned the right to call myself a writer, or a blogger.

A Little Bit of Inspiration

I will be attending Alt Summit Summer this year. Alt Summit is a design and blogging conference held twice a year (January and June) in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have known about it for several years now but could never bring myself to attend a conference for bloggers, not feeling like a “real” blogger myself.

Fortunately one of my favorite vloggers, Jennifer Ross, pushed me over the edge this year with her vlogs and blog posts from the January conference. I am so excited to finally be going!

I received an email recently with links to the keynote speaker presentations from the January session. One was by Lisa Congdon, the other by Dallas Clayton. Both are amazing and I would definitely recommend checking them out.

Lisa Congdon talked about the path she took to get where she is as a creator of lots of different amazing things. She talked about being unapologetic about what you want, and that got me thinking.

A Streamlined Life

Ever since then, I have been reflecting on what I want for my whole life, not just the what I do to make money part. What I really, really, really want is to have a streamlined life.

Yes, I want to write and be a blogger and a writer. That hasn’t changed and I continue to work my life and activities in that direction. But even more, I want to be a writer and blogger in the context of an overall streamlined life. And to write about how I got there and help other people find ways to make their lives more like what they want.

Ironically, Lisa Congdon also noted that her mother guided her to care more about being an interesting person who does interesting things than to have a tidy house or have everything done on the to-do list. I’m glad she said this because it helps me to understand that not everyone feels as passionately about organization as I do. And that’s okay.

But I do. I feel so strongly that I can have everything organized and clean and in a system that lets me do what I want at night without feeling like there are still things I need to do. But, I have been apologizing for it. Maybe not directly to other people, but somehow I feel a little bit like this is an impossible dream and I am insane to want it. Or, if I do talk to other people about it (or write about it), I almost automatically add something like “but I know that’s crazy” or “it probably will never happen.”

Come to think about it, I often do the same thing with my writing aspirations: “but I know it’s probably unlikely that I will ever make money from blogging.”

I have apologized. For wanting to have a beautiful, empty email inbox on a daily basis. Or having my house look like a cozy, gently lived-in hotel at all times. And having my to-do lists cleared at the end of everyday (or week), with whatever needs to be done either done or in the process of where it needs to be to eventually someday get done.

After listening to Lisa’s speech, I realized that I can want whatever I want, even if that is to be an organizing nut who lives a peaceful life writing (and eats organic food whenever possible). And I don’t have to apologize for it.

What do you really, really, really want? Please share your thoughts, and proceed forth pursing your dreams unapologetically!

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  1. Justin Mar 23, 5:16 pm

    Annie banannie, do not apologize for chasing your dreams, as it is never to soon to stop dreaming. I am by no stretch of the imagination a “writer” nor a “blogger”. I too have envisioned a life more different that the one I am now living. To chase the mighty paycheck to pay off these insurmountable student loans I racked up alongside you consumes my time. However, something inside of me keeps telling me that there is more to do, to live a fulfilling life, doing my passion. This calling is what lead me to create my non profit organization Sportsmans Wish Foundation. I long to be outdoors in God’s country, freely in pursuit of teaching our future generations of men the outdoorsmen skills lost in today’s society of video games and other digital means. You long to share your thoughts and feelings through your words. Keep the dream alive and continue to inspire others to do the same….people ARE reading them!

    Reply
    1. anniehurley Mar 24, 10:13 am

      Wow Justin, Thank you so much for your thoughtful words – means so much to me! I absolutely love the idea of your foundation, and am so proud of you too for continuing to pursue what you are truly passionate about despite the fact that it is not always easy. I am so excited to see the great things Sportsmans Wish Foundation will continue to do in the future! Go dreamers!

      Reply
  2. Meg Evans Mar 24, 6:17 pm

    yes, our culture definitely needs to get rid of the idea that nothing matters unless we get paid for it!

    As for what we want and what is possible, I’ve found it helps to break things down into smaller parts that are manageable in the present. For now, my goals are to have a pretty house where I feel good walking around, and a blog where I enjoy writing posts and everything flows easily. That’s simple enough! No need to plan out exactly what I’m going to do in the distant future. That can wait until I get there. 🙂

    Reply
    1. anniehurley Mar 26, 12:58 pm

      Well said Meg! I love the simplicity of your goals. I also like the idea that the distant future can wait until we arrive. Who says we have to have a 5 year plan? 🙂

      Reply
  3. Brittany Mar 24, 6:51 pm

    I am so thankful you decided to pursue your passion for writing and organization. Our love of organization and planning is what we initially connected over and I miss seeing you and Wine Down Wednesday and getting to share with each other our latest organization endeavors. I love hearing you share how to lead a more simplified streamlined life. Miss you tons!

    Reply
    1. anniehurley Mar 26, 12:59 pm

      Thanks Brittany! I love having a friend who loves planners & containers as much as me 🙂

      Reply
  4. Donna Merrill Mar 25, 8:02 am

    Hi Annie,

    No need to ever apologize. We all have dreams to fulfill. The only way to make them a reality is to take action on it. Keep on writing..know that if you have that passion inside, the more you do it the better you will become.

    Organization is one thing we need to have in order to act upon our dreams. Once things are organized, we don’t have that clutter in our heads, and therefore can organize our daily actions towards our dreams.

    In life, there are many dreams we have. Sometimes one is accomplished, and then we want to go a bit higher. That’s what I’m in the middle of now myself. But I know from past experience that it takes baby steps. Most of all, the passion to do so and act upon it each and every day.

    Great share!

    -Donna

    Reply
    1. anniehurley Mar 26, 1:01 pm

      That’s true Donna – we are constantly wanting to improve. I am excited to see your next steps too! Thanks so much for your support!

      Reply

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