After I hit publish on the last two posts, I fretted. I worried that they weren’t dynamic or
groundbreaking or clever enough.
On one hand, the fretting is all me. It’s one of my favorite pastimes, and I
am really good at it. On the other
hand, the fretting speaks to a deeper issue—a truth—that’s important to
I dove back into the blogsphere because a good friend of
mine in the self-help/professional development world encouraged me to do
so. She thought I had a lot to say
about “getting real” in the personal and professional realms that people needed
to hear. That felt good, and I was
excited about the prospect that my words could help people. When it came down to sitting in front
of my keyboard, however, I froze.
I mean, I couldn’t write just anything. People were counting on me! I needed to be brilliant! And cool! No one would notice, much less care, otherwise.
Wait a minute…that didn’t make sense, either.
A very dear friend of mine told me something about Paul
McCartney and the way he works.
Apparently, he sits down at the piano for three hours nearly every
day. He plunks and he plays, and, according
to him, very little of it feels inspired.
Very little of it evolves into a hit song.
That story popped into my head again, and it gave rise to a
thought: what if it was okay to just keep it simple? What if it was okay to NOT be brilliant in this moment? What if it was okay to give what I have
right now…to keep it simple and basic, and just put something—anything—down?
Thus, the post “Confessions of a ‘Go for It' Guy” was
born. After I read the thing,
I…well…you know. But later I
realized that by allowing myself to be where I was, not beat myself up for it,
and then take a step forward anyway was a pretty brilliant stroke.
For one, it meant that I wrote something. When you’re a writer, this is a pretty
big deal. It’s the “you can’t win
if you don’t play” thing. Any words
on paper means there’s a chance you might hit pay dirt. No words on paper means a zero percent
chance that’s going to happen.
For another thing, I realized that most basic concerns in my
life, like how I stay on task to achieve my aspirations or how I deal with
anger, might be the same things that vex other people, too. Suddenly, worrying about being dynamic
and groundbreaking and clever felt kind of selfish. Meeting myself at the intersection of energized and nervous,
being honest with myself, and walking forward despite my urge to run away…all
of a sudden felt pretty dynamic.
And groundbreaking. And
maybe even clever.
It definitely felt real. And helpful. That
made all the difference and relaxed my furrowed brow.