Even if you have nothing to write, write and say so. – Cicero
What does that mean?
While I couldn’t find a hard citation for this quote, it is a very interesting thought to consider. What do writers write about when they can’t think of anything to write?
According to the quote, you write about your inability to write about anything. Which, in itself, is a form of a cure for the writers block. You are now writing, right?
In a broader application, what do you do when you don’t know what to do? What do you think when you don’t know what to think? What do you say when you don’t know what to say?
While there will always be times when you regret what you do, I have always regretted what I failed to do even more. Do something. Think something. Say something. Write something. Don’t just sit there.
Why is taking action important?
I believe that taking action is at the heart of this quote. Inaction is usually a result of fear. Fear steals opportunity. Fear prevents you from taking action. Fear freezes your mind, or focuses it on the potential pitfalls, rather than the potential gain, or your desperate need.
Action, provided you’ve done a little research and can avoid the most obvious of failings, is preferable to doing nothing. The time will never be right. The opportunity will never be perfect. The script will never come to you, fully assembled and ready to write.
By taking action, you at least gain experience. It might not be a rousing success. It might be an complete disaster. But now you have more information. You can plan your next action. You can think more clearly. You can speak with more certainty.
Yes, there will be times when it might have been better to not have done, rather than having done. However, in my experience, they are far fewer than the times when action is beneficial. And the more often you act, the better you get at figuring out when you should and when you should not act.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Taking action is something that most of us do better in some parts of our lives, and less so in others. For me, physical challenges are automatic. If there is a tree, I have to fight the urge to climb it. Rocks? Climb them! Awnings? Jump up and try to touch them. That’s easy.
However, people are another matter entirely. I can go through an entire party and not start a single conversation. I won’t (usually) hide from everyone, but I’m not the kind of person who usually goes up and introduces themselves. It’s not something I enjoy, and something which I never really learned how to do.
In this case, my lack of action earlier in my life has lead to a habit of not doing. That brings up an interesting question: Am I an introvert because I didn’t take action, or did I not take action because I was an introvert? Chicken or egg, which came first?
But as interesting as the question may be, what truly matters is determining what parts of our lives are lacking in action. Where in our lives could we do more, or even should do more? Where has this lack of action hurt us, and how can we prevent it from happening again?
One of the things I want to do with this blog is to start offering e-books. If you’ve read more than a few of my posts, you have probably noticed a few methods and patterns which recur fairly often. Methods and patterns can be distilled and used in many applications.
Enter NaNoWriMo. This is a group which promotes the writing of a novel in a month. 50 thousand words. Sixteen hundred words a day, or about twice the size of my average blog post, every day, for an entire month. While that’s not exactly what I had in mind, I tried once, just to get a feel for what it was like.
It didn’t work out, but it gave me a better idea about what I was getting myself into. I took action. I failed miserably. I learned. I will try again, but probably not in a ‘novel’ format. I’m working on outlines and formats, and will eventually get around to filling them in with words.
But enough about me. Where are you not taking action? Take a moment and write a few of them down. Now examine the list. What do they have in common? If it’s anything like my list, you have some element of fear associated with them. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing, or of succeeding.
Take a moment to consider what you would have to do to get past that fear. Is there a smaller step you could take? A way to try a practice run? Could you try in private or in a less risky environment? Could you find a mentor to help you move forward?
There are always ways to make things happen. You may have to take risks. You may have to rearrange your priorities to make resources available. But you can find a way to take action. The only question is what will you lose by not taking action?
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcustull400296.html
Photo by Hector Alejandro