So, let’s talk about writing your book and why you haven’t started. What’s going on? In January, you might have said you wanted to write a book. And now here it is April and your dream is still there in your mind and heart, not being fulfilled. Why is that?
I’m Waiting for The Right Time
“Don’t wait longer. It is always the right time for the right action.”
― Debasish Mridha
You’ve probably heard there’s never been a more perfect time to follow your dreams. It’s a saying or a cliché for a reason. It doesn’t matter what is going in your life right now. This is the perfect time. Many people have started writing books when their lives were at rock bottom when they didn’t see a way out of the mess that was their life. But they sat down and started writing or created a business or took the first step toward their dream.
I was a 19-year-old kid living in a one-bedroom dumpy house in Long Beach with my parents, sharing a room with my teenage brother when I started writing. I created an “office” in a closet and wrote on a typewriter. Later, I moved out with roommates and wrote despite the chaos and attending college classes. Through all my moves early in life, I kept writing.
If you are waiting for the perfect time to begin anything and especially writing, it will never come. The ideal time never shows up. If fact, the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes and before you know it, you’ll have more and more demands on your time. I didn’t know how good I had it back during those college days before I got married and had kids.
I Would Start But It’s Too Late For Me
“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.”
― Henry Ford
Another cliché we often hear is it’s never too late to . . . make a change, follow your dream, etc. Some people want to write a book, but they talk themselves out of it by saying things like I’m too old to write a book, or I’m already in a career that takes most of my time so if I wanted to become a writer, I should have done it a long time ago. They come up with any number of it’s too late scenarios. But it’s never too late.
J.R.R. Tolkien author of the Lord of the Rings Triology started writing when he was 45 years old. What if he had decided he was too old to begin writing?
You might have seen the movie Brokeback Mountain. That movie was based on a short story by Annie Proulx who wrote her first book Postcards when she was 57. She won Faulkner Award for that book and went on to with Pulitzer Prize and U.S National Book Award for Fiction. Pretty good! Thank goodness she never thought it was too late for her.
I Realized That I’m Being Selfish by Following My Dream
Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day and the rest will fall into place — Unknown
Maybe you think it’s selfish to take the time to write? The opposite is actually true. Writing is an exercise in self-discovery, in growing and expanding, in keeping our minds exercised. Every human being needs to stay mentally heathy and active if they are going to be good parents, mates, friends, coworkers.
We are also creating something that could bring others joy or understanding. Most writers do not write only for themselves. They write to share their stories with others. Writers touch people’s lives in ways they might not even realize. It’s selfish not to write.
Also, people who work toward something they are passionate about are better people to be around. They are happy. Your family members would much rather be around a mentally and spiritually satisfied person than someone who feels like he or she is stuck or not developing.
Also, remember that you don’t have to ask permission from anyone to write your book. It’s your dream.
You Can’t Write If You Don’t Have This
There is something you do need to pursue your dream of writing and that is a little courage. What holds aspiring writers back most often is fear. Fear that their writing is not good enough or that no one will like their story. If some version of fear is holding you back, you need to push past that. You have to dare to fail and dare to be great.
You have to believe that whether the story is good or bad, whether you can write something worthwhile, you still deserve to try. You have to believe that it’s worth the effort of sitting at your computer and engaging in the passion of storytelling. It takes courage to tell others about your dream and sit and do it. It takes courage to believe in yourself.
So, if you haven’t started, guess what? You have to do three things right now.
1. Take Action — dreams do not become real until we take action. Begin writing. Write one page today. Another one tomorrow. Begin to outline your story. Take any kind of action to start. Promise yourself that you will write everyday for the rest of the year.
2. Anticipate Obstacles and Bad Writing Days — the second you commit to writing every day, something will happen. The toilet will overflow (I hope not), it will snow, and you’ll have spend all day digging out of it, the power will go out and you’ll have to write by hand and candlelight. No matter the obstacle, you can not let it stop you or use it as an excuse. Understand that these things will happen, plan for them, and work around the problem.
3. Be Patient — Take small steps and be patient with yourself. You don’t have be great as soon as you start, so do not compare yourself to multi-published authors. Be happy with where you are now and know that you will grow and improve with time.
The only way to start living your dream of being an author is to begin writing and to move past the excuses and reasons why you can’t start. I hope you’re ready to begin today.
Have a story to tell? Want to learn how to record personal experiences before they’re lost or write a novel? Let started by downloading for free Julia Amante’s “Free Your Story” framework.