[To find out why I am writing all these #Trust30 posts, click here]
Here's the prompt, from Matt Cheuvront:
“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious. A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work
The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.
Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.
The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?
There were lots of things I could have chosen, but I only have time to write about one.
At some point in my life, I want to write a book. Actually, I want to write at least two—one non-fiction and one fiction. I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily afraid to pursue the idea, but the thought of trying to go through the whole process is a little intimidating. Some of the obstacles I perceive are:
- Not knowing what the books would be about (where’s the theme?)
- Not being able to ‘sell’ the books (would I think they were worth buying?)
- Writer’s block
- Fears about no one reading it (i.e., why spend all that time if no one wants the book?)
- The characters in the fiction book would be poorly developed or uninteresting
- Starting but not finishing the books
- Not finding anyone to publish them
Since this is a real challenge that I have already begun, I’ll give you the plans I have either thought about or started to use to get around them.
1. Not knowing what the books would be about (where’s the theme?)
I do think that there is a non-fiction book somewhere in all of these writings about coffee that I have done, and after a couple more months, I am going to go back and read everything I have written, writing down some of the commonalities to see where the story is.
For the fiction book, I have brainstormed plenty of ideas and written them down. I just need to pick one and spend time working to develop it.
2. Not being able to ‘sell’ the books (would I think they were worth buying?)
When I have the books written, I am going to have to ask for help getting them promoted. I’ll also have to get over my reluctance to sell. I’m not opposed, just a little fearful.
3. Writer’s block
I read a great quote the other day by some author. The author said, “if you want to cure writer’s block, lower your standards.” The point was to quit worry about the quality of what you are writing at that moment and just sit down and write anything that comes to mind. Eventually your brain will help you get through it, if you get into writing mode. You just have to be determined to keep going, no matter what. Words will come, if you let them.
4. Fears about no one reading it (i.e., why spend all that time if no one wants the book?)
Really, you want to write a book for others to read, but the important part is making it authentically yours, isn’t it? The important part is the craft of writing itself, not how the book is received by others. Granted, you hope that everyone loves it, but if they don’t, at least you put in the work and have something to show for it.
5. The characters in the fiction book would be poorly developed or uninteresting
When I really get to writing the book, I will do some research on how great authors create great characters and then give it a shot myself, revising them over and over to make them as interesting as possible. I may take a fiction writing class at a community college or online too.
6. Starting but not finishing the books
This one is a big challenge. The temptation to quit will be strong, I am sure, as will the voices that say the whole project is not worth it. I will continue to remind myself that I must finish the project, and keep The War of Art, another one of Pressfield’s books, around for encouragement (or a good lashing) when I need it.
I’ll set a writing schedule and stick to it.
7. Not finding anyone to publish them
This doesn’t scare me that much. These days, with the way the publishing industry is changing and with the availability of e-books and self-publishing companies, it is not necessary to have a publisher to sell the books. After all, isn’t one of the benefits of the internet age the possibility of bypassing the gatekeepers? (To tell you the truth, I’d probably prefer to have to go around them. I like underdog stories.)
To answer the final question, nothing. I’m working on it!