I am writing a little every day as a part of a Big Bold Goal to write and publish a book. I decided last month that because I am writing I am a writer. Just by doing the act of writing, means I am a writer. Cool huh? I’ve talked about the power of action on radio shows and with clients, but I haven’t written about it yet.
The difference between those who do and those who don’t is action.
Basically doing the work.
I learned this way too late in life, I was “around 40” when I had the flash of insight that difference between me and the person who was doing what I wanted to do was just the fact that they were doing it! If I let go of outcome and a need to do something right or “best” and just put action in the direction I wanted to go, I’d be achieving. It is like the fabulous often quoted Nike ad, “Just do it!”
How I became a radio talk show host is wonderful example of this insight in action:
I was a long time listener to the radio station where I had my show and loved listening to the various hosts and guest cycling through the airwaves of KKNW sharing wisdom. I felt drawn to the medium and the messages, I wanted to have a show on that network. I remember putting it on vision board as something I might be able to do later once I’d taken a class, gotten a certificate, degree, title etc.
Over the last decade I’ve been on a journey of self transformation and I honestly can’t remember what happened or when, but amazingly I realized that the only difference between me and the hosts on the radio was that they took action. Called the station, pitched a show, signed a contract and went to work.
Now I am not saying I was the best radio talk show host or that I am great writer but I was a radio talk show host and I am now a writer.
Does that seem as profound to you as it does to me? Do you know what? I could be anything and so can you. We can be musicians (if I buy a ukulele and you a bongo), We can be tennis players (if we borrow rackets and hit the court), we can be a coach or mentor if we take time listen and ask questions, we can be cooks if we cook, We can be runners if we run. The world is our oyster if we take action.
Now as a decomposing type-a “do-er” this realization may not sound healthy (I really am trying). If you know my story, I have overdosed on “doing” and am working on building “being” muscle. I know being does not entail work…hello? But you get what I am saying right? The idea and empowerment of this magic moment, that any limitation you have put on yourself can be removed with action.
If you want to write, pick up a pen and write. If you want to be good writer you have to write a lot. You have to practice, seek assistance take classes. Author Ann Patchett (http://www.annpatchett.com/) has an amazing essay on her experience as a writer and in it line about the art vs. the craft of writing. The writing isn’t just the lovely finished novel or published essay (ART) but the CRAFT, the day to day grind of doing the work. The discipline of the writing practice. The action!
I’ve come up with my own equation to remind me and hopefully inspire you to take action!
Desire/goal + Action- Judgment of Outcome = Achievement
Goal to write book + writing -no judgment on quality = I am writer
The requirement is action, but the magic to this equation is lack of judgement or non-attachment to outcome. Don't judge just do!
Now if you want to become and expert the equation has to change substantially by basically committing to 10,000 hours of action according to research by the great Malcolm Gladwell in the the great book Outliers (http://gladwell.com/outliers/). But let's not put that expectation on ourselves today. Deal?
Desire/goal + Action – Judgement of Outcome (10, 0000 hours) = Mastery
For me as a first step, I am taking action without judgment of outcome.
If we wait to take action until we feel we are ready, until we’ve taken a writing workshop, earned a MFA, published an article, etc. we never start. Sadly if you don’t start, if you don’t pick up the pen, you won’t be a writer.
And so today, with you as my witness, I am a writer.
What will you be today?