Sunday, October 14, 2007

Believing It Can Be Done

"There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write." - Steven Pressfield (From The War of Art.)

Do you know how hard it is to sit down and do something (like try to write a book) that you know might not ever make you any money, or even be seen by anybody but yourself and your trusted friends? Well, in all honesty you might know exactly how that feels, and I salute your continued efforts and perseverance.

But for those of you who don’t, ask yourselves how many great ideas you’ve had over the years, or how many fantastic things you could have done, but didn’t or couldn’t. Does doing the things that allow your mind free reign really make you happy, even when they might not have the desired outcomes you might have wanted? I thin they do.

Take me for instance. I’m sitting here at my desk at 10:00pm on a Saturday night, letting my mind have control of my fingertips for a few minutes, hours, days (who knows) all with the knowledge that these words might never have a public eye set upon them. Is that discouraging? Only if you let it be. I could go on. I write a blog about renting movies and I started my own media business, specializing in Multimedia Subtitling and Contextual Language Consulting, neither of which make me a great deal of money, but nonetheless give me something to be proud of.

The point, in all of this, is that I do things like writing so that what I have to say and ultimately what I want to do can be accomplished, even if it’s done in on a small scale. It doesn’t matter. The new slogan of this decade is going to “Small is the new Big”, or “Size doesn’t matter”, mark my words. People are already writing books about these very subjects.

And do you know why I believe in this process so fervently? It’s because I don’t want to harbor any more regrets in life than I absolutely have too. I look back on parts of my life already and feel regret of one kind or another. Dammit, I’m too young to be feeling regret! And I don’t want anyone else to feel unnecessary regret, by which I mean the kind that can be avoided by making a choice, whether your 18 or 80, I don’t care! It shouldn’t have to be a part of your life.

The good news is, regret is theoretically easily outmaneuvered. Make a choice, and find a non-harmful way of expressing what you have to say or doing what you want to do. However, I do understand outside of theory, making a choice is difficult, and that carrying it out is even harder. It’s not easy in that sense, but think of it this way; if you wake up in the morning and you say to yourself “Bob, I’m going to spend 30 minutes today doing research on skydiving because I’ve always wanted to do it”, or “Joe, I’m going to get on the internet and spend 1 hour making a website about mountain bikes vs. cycling bikes because that is my hidden passion”, what are you really risking, besides your own potential happiness? Granted these examples are about repressed and secret desires and interests, but it can just as easily incorporate things that people who know you have already figured out. If your friends come to you when they want a good restaurant recommendation, then maybe you should think about writing a small culinary review on a blog or a local newspaper. Like the quote at the beginning of the post says, it's not the doing that's hard. What's hard is the commitment to giving time so that the doing can be done.

All I can say is that the possibilities ARE indeed almost endless. No hesitations, no boundaries. And it feels ridiculously good during and after you achieve your goal, whatever that may be.

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