So I have a secret; I want to write a book. In fact I've wanted to write a book for a while. I've got a title and chapter headings. Here's the thing though, I haven't written a single word. In the meantime I've proofread and edited other people's books, but still haven't mustered up the courage to write anything of my own. This week, I'd like to share 3 things that can help us be bold enough to follow our dreams.
Firstly, "it's better to be authentic than to try and be unique". Whilst I've been carrying round the idea of writing a book for a while, I've also been carrying round a certain amount of fear as well. I've been afraid to tell anyone that I want to write a book because I'm afraid that I have nothing unique to say. I'm not sure where I got the idea that being authentic isn't enough, but it's there and getting in the way of me getting started. When I think about it logically, I know that it doesn't make sense. Every book we read, every movie we watch follows a specific formula, it's just different names, places and incidents. When you strip it down, every story is about a hero, on a quest, who has to overcome a challenge and who usually gets the girl/boy at the end. I don't know anyone who's read one book and decided not to read anymore because they've read that one! What makes one different from the other is the voice of the writer. The more authentic the voice, the more we engage with what we read. I have to get away from the idea that what I write has to be bright, shiny and new and concentrate on being authentic. Our different experiences and backgrounds are what make life beautiful and being authentic is what helps us to connect with others.
Secondly, "it's time to stop tracing and start drawing". This is something that I read in one of Tara Mohr's pieces and it just leaped out at me. When we trace, we are following an outline that already exists, someone else's pattern. It doesn't require that much effort from us. It doesn't require us to be creative or innovative. It does 2 things though: it helps us stay safe and it helps us to avoid responsibility for when things go wrong. Drawing on the other hand is scary, very scary. It demands creativity and innovation. It demands authenticity. It demands that we know our truth, own it and speak it with love and compassion. It leaves us with nowhere to hide and only leaves ourselves to blame when we fall short. Every time I sit down to write a post, I experience the fresh panic of feeling like I have nothing unique to say. My initial response is to think about where and what I can trace. Then, that part of me that craves authenticity reminds me that I am bigger than that. It reminds me that it is better to be authentic and fail, rather than succeed by being someone else.
Finally, "now is the right time". I don't know about you, but I have an awful procrastination habit linked to perfectionist tendencies. I regularly say to myself "I'll start on Monday" or "I'll start when I have everything just so". I've learned that this just a way to give myself permission to fail. If something comes up on Monday or I don't get everything I think I need then I can say I was prepared to start, but something happened. You can see how this is a recipe for disaster! I'm working on getting started, no matter the time, day or amount I get done. What works for me is to do something, no matter how little, just to break the ice. For me and my book writing venture, the first step is to dig out my notebook where I wrote my ideas, make sure that they are still authentic and then get started with the writing.
What is that thing that you've been longing to do but have been afraid to start because you think you have nothing unique to add? Where have you been tracing instead of drawing? What can you do now, to get started? Don't know where to begin? Contact us through the website for your free 30 minute consultation to help you on your way.
Until next time, go well.