One of my dreams in life is to be a successful writer. I know that people sometimes say, “don’t share your dreams with the public”.
To that I say: what do I have to lose? I’m not scared of failure, so who cares. You only shirk and hide if you are scared of failure and what people are going to say. I’m scared of neither, so why not share?
I know what I want, and I don’t really care if I have doubters, or critics. I’ve had them before (in building our business), and I’ll have them again.
I view life as one continual learning experience. So every doubter just helps me to commit stronger, and every critic helps me to learn and get better.
My resolve has surely been tested this year. The doubters and critics however were not external – they existed inside of me.
In September of 2012 I had the idea to write my first book. The book would be called “Unsuited”. It is about emotional empowerment, and talks about my story – turning my back on law (even though it was financially secure) because I was depressed and I didn’t want to live this way, and learning to pursue flow and mastery, embrace experimentation and risk, and confront my fears. The book is intended to help people who find themselves deep in a career that has no personal significance to them. I share ideas and strategies to help them determine what they truly value, and then I give lots of tips and strategies to manage risk and fear, their own inner critics, channel creativity, and take action.
The idea was accepted by a publishing company, and since late September 2012, I have given my absolute best in writing it. Despite the effort, for a first time author, it is very natural to continually wonder and doubt:
Is this going to be good enough?
What if the publisher doesn’t like it?
What if other people say the writing sucks?
I’ve had to battle with this inner resistance over and over and over again as I wrote the book. The best advice that I found (to which I credit Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” ) was basically:
Shut up, just write, and when you are done, click send
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Shutting up and just writing. Every time I would hear my inner critic, I would just shut up and pound out 500 words. Now, one day before my deadline (October 1), I clicked send.
That is all you can do in life. You control your labour, not the fruits of your labour. You can work and when the work is done you can submit it. Or, you can be lazy, and do nothing. Or, you can be scared and never show your work to the world.
I would rather struggle and continually fine tune my art, than be lazy or scared.
The second best piece of advice about writing that I found (again to credit Steven Pressfield) is:
The day that you finish the first one, start another one.
So that is what I’m doing. Today. My second book is starting. I don’t quite know what I’m even going to write about. But I’m starting today to write another one.
That is really all we can do in life. If you want something you have to take action. There is no magic. There is nothing other than kicking our own butts and taking action. We are the biggest obstacles in our path. Those inner voices – they shut up when you work.
I want my book to be successful, but if it’s not, I’m ok, because I’m already writing another one.
When you live this way, nothing can stop you. Not even those diabolical inner critics. They shut right up when you are working.