The language we use when talking about our plans matters more than you might think.
You say, “I’ll try to write a book this year.”
You say, “I’ll try to start posting on my blog again.”
You say, “I’ll try to set some writing goals and be more productive.”
But do you really mean to turn these words into actions? Or are you just saying words?
I get that when you say, “I’ll try,” what you probably mean is that you’re determined not to give up no matter how discouraged you might feel. Trying, to you, might mean that you’re going to move forward with a project or assignment knowing that you very well might fail.
If “I’ll try” helps you accept that not succeeding is a very real possibility in anything you promise to do, I suppose you’re not wrong.
But from my perspective, giving yourself permission to fail isn’t always a good thing. It can be, in some cases. In others, it also gives you permission not to work as hard as you could.
For some people, “trying” just isn’t quite enough.
Like everyone’s favorite Jedi Master points out, sometimes, you have to make a choice. Are you going to go all in — or not at all?
Do, or do not — there is no try.
Stop trying. Start doing.
Writing is a verb. An active phase of creating something using words. You can try to start something, or finish it. You can try to publish something, win an award, become successful.
But there’s no point in even trying if you’re not fully committed to actually following through.
I want you to stop trying. But I don’t want you to quit. I want you to sit down, think about the one writing-related thing you want to prioritize this year, and I want you to say, out loud, “I will do this thing.”
You won’t try to. You won’t say, “Maybe I can do it this year.” No. You’re going to do it. Why? Because no matter the reason(s) you think you can’t, I bet you can. I really do.
Don’t let “trying” hold you back.
If you do it, and fail, that’s OK. Get back up and do it again. As many times as you have to.
Go all in. Do.
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.