In 2008 I set out to write a book.
I’d been living with the characters and portions of the story for some time. But for years I just didn’t have the discipline to sit down and write a novel. Thousands and thousands of words. The task seemed daunting. Of course, looking back I wish that I had started earlier. Who knows what road my life would have taken? My life is good, though, and I guess it really all means that I wasn’t ready then. In 2008 I was ready.
Well, my life was in flux. Which is to say a chaotic mess. Psychologically. Professionally.
The point is, I set out to write a book. The book I’d always wanted to write, but didn’t know how. It seems silly, doesn’t it? I didn’t know how to write a book. Uh…DUH.
First step – Sit down.
Second Step – Type.
Rather, Rinse, Repeat. Ta-DA! You’ve written a book…
But it’s not that simple. Well, it’s not that simple if you are completely mental about story, character development, suspense, detail and plot like I am. Oh, I’m mental alright. And I worried about those things. I still do. So the thought of sitting down and writing a book scared the crap out of me. So I avoided it. Until I was ready. Well, my life was in flux. But that was part of why I was ready. I needed to express myself or risk being chased by men in white coats. I needed an outlet, and writing provided a safe place for me to turn.
Here’s the kicker. My first book is good (if I do say so myself) but I made a lot of mistakes. It turns out that even though I was ready to take on the enormous challenge of writing a book, I was still destined to make mistakes. It was a learning process. Which led me to discover something about myself that I kind of knew all along, if I want to learn something I have to do something.
Being a bystander will only accomplish watching other people achieve their goals. It won’t do anything to help me achieve mine.
It wasn’t too late to start something new, to learn something new, to make new mistakes that I’d learn from and improve on because I care about things like that. My biggest obstacle wasn’t that I didn’t know how to write a book, it was that I didn’t try to write a book. Until the time that I did.
It’s never too late to start going after those dreams. And don’t be afraid to fail. You will. It’s part of the process of success. But it’s really only failure if you get knocked down and refuse to get back up, dust yourself off and try again. Trust me, I know.
Five years later and I’m still learning lessons. But I know more today than I did back then.
Oh, and by the way….I’m about half way through writing my sixth book.
I’m amazed at what I can do when I just decide to do it.