“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do
something you’ve never done.” Thomas Jefferson
There’ so much to ponder — and act upon — here! So often, We’re willing and eager when it comes to dreaming about the “Land of Possibilities” — to fantasize about something we’ve “never had” and long for. But when we hit the second part of the equation — being willing to do something we’ve “never done” to get it, we fall down on the job.
There are many “wants” in the writing life:
We may want to stretch ourselves – to aim higher than we have been in the past. To tackle an ambitious project that’s been tapping our shoulder, or break out of a genre and pen a play or movie script, something that demands that we master new rules of the game.
We may want to take a cherished project that’s languished in a drawer or on our computer and breathe new life into it — to step it out into the world and bring it to fruition.
We may want to finally complete a project that’s been bedeviling us for some time. And yet, though the want is there, the will seems to be missing: For one reason or another, we can’t quite seem to get it out of our head and onto the page, or push it over the finish line.
We may want to reach our own personal “stretch” goal and bring a project to publication, organize and stick to a submission plan, commit to marketing our work, or land an agent.
Yes, there are plenty to “wants” we’ve never had to go around when it comes to pursuing the writing life. And yet when it comes to being willing to really push ourselves, to “do” the things we need to actually do to get there — things we’ve never done before, we stop short. Our wants turn to idle wishes and seem to vanish.
“Your dreams always lie outside your comfort zone” — my good friend and mentor Coach Mike Tully says. How true it is! In order to turn bold “wants” into reality — to “do” what it takes to achieve them — we need to get out of our comfort zone. We need to be comfortable being uncomfortable. We have to shake ourselves up, push past self-imposed limitations, get messy and make mistakes. And keep going.
So let’s reach higher. Let’s do more and do it more boldly. Write on!