Have you ever watched, listened to, or read something someone else has created — or heard the story of how they accomplished that thing — and thought, “I want to do that”?
Though you may not realize it, these “I want to do that” moments are critical to the progression and success of your creative journey.
These are the moments when you’re most honest with yourself. When you’re allowing yourself to be vulnerable, to admit that the thing you’re seeing or hearing is something you want to be a part of.
Whether you think it or say it out loud, it means something. It’s less of a dream, and more of a goal. It moves from your subconscious to your conscious thoughts — it becomes something you consider, instead of something you’re simply imagining.
Here’s the truth about “I want to do that.”
If you want to do it, you can do it.
No, really. You can.
Not right away, obviously. Most things take time and effort, practice and practice and more practice.
But it’s possible.
Here’s something I’ve started doing. I have this piece of paper. It’s just a random sheet with a pen next to it that I keep on my desk.
Whenever I see/hear someone I follow talk about what they’re doing or what they’ve done, and I think, “Wow – I would love to do that someday” — I write that down on that piece of paper.
There are a lot of repeats. I want to publish a book. I want do do xyz. But that’s the point. That’s how you figure out the things you really, really want to accomplish — and continuously remind yourself those things are important to you.
You want to do it. So start doing it. Starting is hard, but it’s better than nothing.
You have excuses. Reasons. Roadblocks. Fears. We all do. But part of creating things is learning that you’re allowed to do it whether it’s good or not, whether others are watching or not, whether you’re fully confident or not.
It’s very likely that this thing you want to do is nothing new. We just become more aware of the things we like, and the personal aspirations we attach to them, as we grow, both in age and skill level.
It’s very likely that you want to do it for the right reasons. Those are the ones that stick around, that repeat on your list, that matter most to you. You want to start a blog because you have knowledge to share, not because you want to be a famous blogger (whatever that means these days). You want to publish a book because you have stories to tell, not because you want to be an award-winning author.
Once you realize how much effort has to go into getting where you want to go, the things that aren’t actually important to you tend to drop off and disappear. The things that you really care about? You hold onto them. You keep pursuing them. Or, you want to, at least.
Record those moments. Remember what your end goals are. That’s going to help you sort out your creative life, no matter how long it takes you to get from where you are to where you want to be.
You. Can. Do. It!
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 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.