Once upon a time I worked with a brilliant, witty man. Let’s call him John. John was one of the funniest, wittiest people I know. And he was a brilliant writer. How do I know this? During the day John would inter-office message me, and we would have the most brilliant, sardonic conversations in writing. Or he would email me. The jocularity and cleverness contained in his emails was sublime. They were so good, I often considered writing short stories, or books using our dialogue from these written conversations. He was an astounding conversationalist whoever he was talking to.
But when I think about John I still feel sad. Why? Because John was an amazing writer who would never write. John’s particular brilliance would never be shared with the world, and that is a shame.
He was afraid of criticism, like we all are. He was afraid of failing, like we all are. He was afraid what he made wouldn’t be “perfect”, like we all are. But I could tell his writing would be dazzling, if only he would put it on the page. Like many brilliant folks, he probably has many books waiting to be written inside of him.
I knew that quality writing mattered to him. He went to writing conferences. He read cerebral and celebrated writers. He read books about how to write. The only thing he didn’t do is actually write.
So what is the difference between John, and a well-known writer like Neil Gaiman?
Neil Gaiman ACTUALLY writes. Neil Gaiman sits down and puts his flavour of words on a piece of paper. And you know what? Neil Gaiman also FAILS sometimes. In fact, John and I talked about some of Neil Gaiman’s fiction that we didn’t care for much. Even though we both liked Neil Gaiman, there was some of his work that didn’t appeal to us. But even though Neil had a few fails in our eyes, we still agreed that Neil Gaiman had something unique to offer the world. We agreed that despite these misses, that we were glad that Neil Gaiman had shared his vision with us.
So why does Neil Gaiman’s vision shared with the world, and John’s doesn’t even though they may be equally brilliant?
Because even though Neil Gaiman may not please all his readers all the time, he continues to write. He disciplines himself to write. He sends that writing out to the public to consume and be judged. He writes no matter what. He isn’t perfect, he just keeps writing. He just keeps putting his himself out there.
My plea to you for 2014 is this. Don’t be like John. You have brilliance inside you too.
Yes, you may not be perfect at first, but don’t let that stop you. Just keep creating. Don’t get hung up on perfectionism. Don’t let fear of your work being prevent you for creating something that is good. Just keep going, and one day sooner than you think, you will look back and think “This is pretty good. In fact, this is great.”
Take one small creative step right now, as soon as you finish reading this post.
Create for 30 minutes then stop and put your work away. Don’t look at it, don’t think about it. Then do the same thing tomorrow. Then the day after. Keep creating for 30 days in a row without looking at your work, judging it, or thinking about it all. At the end of 30 days sit down and look at what you’ve done. I’ll bet you will be surprised at how good it is.
Don’t just think about your dreams, take action, however small. Don’t die with your package of matches unlit. Make sure that by the time you die, you’ve burned up all the matches in your box. Dazzle the world with your brilliance!
Please back and tell me about your successes in the comments!
Watch for “Magic Mojo Monday” of my Facebook page next Monday, January 13!
~If you need a little help and would like to work with me, I am taking some private coaching clients this month. I am running three different coaching package packages, to help you really dig into 2014 and start making real changes with the biggest challenges in your life.
If you want to see if we would work well together, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule a complementary strategy session to discuss on the phone what you’d like to work on.
I’m offering discounted private coaching packages for January. Each private coaching client gets an hour-long session by phone, once a week or once every two weeks. Calls can be recorded. Private coaching packages are as follows:
- 4 session package for $357 (reg. $456),
- 6 session package for $527 (reg. $684), or
- 8 session package for $687 (reg $912).
I accommodate bi-weekly payment schedules through Paypal if required.
Image thanks to Tim Grishaw at: http://tomgrimshaw.com/tomsblog/2012/12/25/the-world-needs-you-now-not-when-you-are-perfect/#sthash.1cvgrYUC.plva9vY3.dpbs