A Fear of Commitment

A Fear of Commitment

Good morning Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

Next Friday I’m going to be getting on a plane and flying to Austin for the Colonists’ Summit with Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt from the Self Publishing Podcast. It’s going to be a conference with writers from all over the country, and the agenda is going to be heavily focused on not only writing and self-publishing, but the world Johnny and Sean built in their book The Dream Engine.

I am super excited to visit Austin again. You might recall I went last year for the World Builder’s Conference where we all planned our own Dream Engine books, one of which I’m still planning to write this year.

More important than the actual book itself was just getting to hang out with and meet so many other self-published authors who were in the same situation as me so we could all commiserate and brainstorm and generally realize that we all weren’t alone in this struggle.

And there’s going to be even more people at this conference than there were at the last one, so, yeah. I’m expecting to get quite a lot from it.

But today I don’t want to talk about leaving for the conference next week, I want to talk about when I booked my ticket for the conference LAST week.

I’ve flown on quite a few flights over the years and stayed in many different hotels, but this time, for the first time, I did something that made me feel very much like an adult.

I signed up for a frequent flyer program and a hotel points program so that I will be earning points with both my airline and my hotel on this trip. And that is just SOOO WEIRD to me.

Not because it’s ACTUALLY weird but because…it’s kind of a commitment.

Now I know what you’re going to say! “Garrett, you have a wife and three kids. That’s a WAY WAY WAY bigger commitment. How can you possibly be intimidated by signing up for a skymiles program?”

Okay, listen, ANALYTICALLY I know that’s true. But because of the type of person I am, it’s very easy for me to commit to love and to a personal relationship with another person.

I will always love my family no matter what. That is a default setting that will always be switched to “ON,” no matter what else is happening in my life.

But any kind of professional commitment is just so much more frightening to me. Booking the flight itself gave me a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach—simply because it means that the airline is going to EXPECT me to be in the airport and on their plane at a certain time on a certain day.

Is this completely insane? Yes, but it’s who I am.

It’s very easy for me to go, “I want to fly to Austin!” but as soon as the airline says, “Great! Be here at this time and we will put you on a plane,” some part of my mind says, “Wait…what if I want to fly two hours earlier in the day than that? Or the day after? WHAT IF THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANT?”

This is why Sean Platt has sometimes torn his hair out while working with me, because I love the idea of “doing the thing,” but commitment to an actual timeline and work schedule makes my skin crawl.

But it shouldn’t! And it doesn’t have to, even for me, and I AM getting better. Sean and I are writing together right now, in fact, and I’m…I mean, I’d venture to say I’m actually doing pretty well with it.

It has been a lot of work and time—years, actually—to improve my discipline to the point where I can actually say, “Yes, I want to do the thing,” and then commit to actually getting it done when I said I was going to do it, despite the stomach flip-flops that happen every time.

What you should take away from that, though, is that if I can do it, you can definitely do it, too. It can be a long process to learn how your mind works and what circumstances make you react in what ways, but with work and time, you can become organized and productive and effective.

You can be a real adult. With a skymiles program and everything.

Hoo boy, I think I need to sit down. Wait, I’m already sitting. Maybe I need to stand up. No, that doesn’t help.

As always, thank you so much for watching, Rebels, and I will see you tomorrow. Maybe. Byyye.

 

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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