Friday, October 25, 2013
Write It Now or Regret It Later
For years my sister and I have had a common goal. We wanted to be writers. We both believed that if we really put our minds to it, if we really worked hard, we would succeed.
We would meet at the library or a coffee shop with our laptops and get to work, but then something strange would happen. The coffee shops were too loud. The library was too cold. We realized we needed to go shoe shopping or we were suddenly starving and had to go to lunch. With all of these "issues", we didn't get much work done.
While at lunch we would talk about how difficult it was to be a writer. Oh, it was so much work and there was really no guarantee that we would ever succeed. We had the kids to take care of, volunteering to do at the school, and blah, blah, blah.
It went on like this for a while. We'd write a little, complain A LOT, and then go have lunch together and complain some more. It was really a lot of fun!
Then, slowly, things began to change. My sister quit meeting me to "write" and started writing on her own! How RUDE!
I'll admit it. I was trash talking a bit, "It's not right for her to abandon me!" "Who does she think she is?", but while I was trash talking, she was writing. And a few months later she finished her novel.
Now of course, I wish her all the success in the world, you can find her book, The Corpse Goddess, on Amazon here.
But I was J-E-A-L-O-U-S! Jealous! Why was I so jealous? Even I didn't really get it. She deserved it, she did the work. Plus, there were hundreds of people who had published novels before her. I wasn't jealous of them!
Now you may think you don't care about my sister and her book. You don't care that the doctor next door to you is a doctor, or that the girl you knew from high school is a movie star, but the reason you don't care is because you don't want to be a writer, or a doctor, or a movie star.
But I'd be willing to bet there is something that you really want to be. Whether it's an artist, or an entrepreneur, or a size six in your skinny jeans.
Whatever it is it won't bother you so much if some stranger succeeds. But when a friend or a family member succeeds, someone you know is so similar to you. They don't have the time either, they don't have the guarantee of success either, and somehow they did it anyway.
When they make it work, and someday they will, you're going to be happy for them, but more than anything you'll be asking yourself, "Why didn't I do the work?"
That's what I was thinking when my sister got published! "Why haven't I been writing?"
I promise you, all your excuses, the entire "poor me" act is going to seem pretty pathetic!
You will feel guilty for not doing what you really, truly wanted to be doing. You will deeply regret wasting time. You will regret letting yourself give in to the excuses. I know I did.
So, lace up those running shoes, start that business, write that book because the very worst thing you can say at the end of the day, or the month. The worst thing you can say at the end of the year or at the end of your life is, "I regret not doing..."