I'm still stuffed to the gills after a wonderful dinner with My Love last night, and there are plenty of leftovers in the refrigerator to keep me Thanksgiving Day happy for a few more days. I hope you all had a wonderful day with your families, friends, and loved ones, wherever you are.
It's time now to get back to those questions you've been asking me. Today we have a vague yet interesting question from Louise...
Why haven't you done it yet? Better yet, what is it you haven't done?
Let's see...I haven't:
- Finished my novel
- Been published in a major magazine
- Seen the Grand Canyon, a giant Redwood, Old Faithful or Mount Rushmore
- Been married
- Had children
- Traveled to Africa, Australia, South America or Asia
As for why I haven't done these things, there are many reasons some of which are out of my control. I want to address that first bullet, though. It was the first thing that came to mind when I read Louise's question, "Why haven't you done it yet?" And my immediate response? "Fear."
I've been making excuses for a long time. I've been passive about my goal. I've procrastinated, taken on projects that take up my writing time, watched television and filled my time with unproductive activities instead of pursing the thing that I want more than anything else. Why? Because I'm afraid. Afraid I'll finish and it will suck. Afraid I'll finish and it will be great and then people will expect more of the same. Afraid I'll put all that work of writing and rewriting and editing into something that won't find its way into publication.
But when I think about those fears, when they're written out like that, I start to see the holes in my logic. I won't ever know the results if I don't finish what I've started. So what if I write something that doesn't make the best seller's list or doesn't even find a publisher? I'll have written a story that I love and I'll have learned plenty of lessons through the process. This morning I heard David Wroblewski, the author of The Story of Edgar Sawtell, say something that soothed my fear a bit. He said, "As a new writer who'd never been published before I had the luxury of time." It took him 10 years to write his best seller. He wrote it part-time while he worked as a software programmer. He did what he loved and has been pleasantly surprised by the fact that it's been published, much less that it's a best seller.
Who cares if my book takes a long time to write? Who cares if it's not as good as I hope it will be? I'd hate to look back on my life 10, 15, 30 years from now and realize I allowed fear to keep me from doing the things that I really wanted to do.
What haven't you done and why haven't you done it? Go. Now. Make a plan. Get to work. Start saving. Do what you want--no, what you NEED--to do. We'll never regret that.
If you've got a burning question for me but haven't had a chance to ask it, you can go to the original post and leave your question in a comment. I'll keep answering a question or two a day until they're all answered.
If you're just tuning in, check the rest of the series.