What are you waiting for?
You could probably list a dozen things, if I asked you to.
Why haven’t you started writing that thing you’ve wanted to start writing for the past six months?
There’s a reason. At least, you’ve come up with one that’s bought you some time. For now.
There are some benefits to waiting to start something new, instead of jumping right into a project you aren’t 100 percent sure will work out.
But when you put things off for too long, your anticipation becomes poisonous to your productivity. You’re so excited about what you haven’t started that you almost start to feel like you already have.
And then, often, you just never get around to actually doing anything. Your excitement fades. You just shrug and decide you’d rather move on to something else … or not.
There are probably a lot of reasons people wait to start projects — both legitimate reasons and, let’s be honest, lazy excuses. Fear is a big one. Not feeling like you have your finances or your life in general “together enough” to start something new. Waiting until you graduate, until after the holidays, until it doesn’t get dark at 4:30 in the afternoon anymore.
Some of these things I can understand. Truly. But there’s a point at which all reasons morph into excuses, and that’s not good for your aspirations and you know it.
If you aren’t careful, you’re going to spend your whole life waiting without ever accomplishing anything on your bucket list at all.
Nobody wants that. Many of us fear it.
The best solution I can offer to a general audience — all of you have different reasons why you’re waiting to do a creative thing, I can’t possibly cater to all of you at once and satisfy everyone — is to jump in. If you have an idea, run with it. You might find it’s not really what you want to do, or it’s not feasible, but having tried and decided “no” is much better than never having bothered to try.
(Notice I did not use the word “failed.” I don’t like using the idea of failure in this context. Just because you don’t succeed actually does not mean you’ve failed, at least in my mindset.)
I know, I know. You don’t like the idea of spending valuable time and energy on something that might not play out the way you’re hoping. But … how else are you ever going to get anything done? Often, the things we expect to bomb don’t. (And sometimes it goes the other way, but whatever.)
You have to try.
Those silly excuses aren’t going to get you anywhere, even if there’s some merit to them.
You already know that. But I’m that voice in your head reminding you to log off of Netflix and get some writing done. You’re welcome.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.