“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”
~ Ken Blanchard
I recently began reading a book about sobriety by Jack Canfield (co-author of the Chicken Soup series) and Dave Andrews. What’s interesting about this book are the multitude of little thought-gems and practical insights that apply to things much larger than cutting back from drinking. The book is actually a 30-day project and the full title of the book is The 30-Day Sobriety Solution.
In chapter one the authors strive to pound home the idea that unless you are 100% committed you will fail. As I read this I couldn’t help applying its message to many other aspects of life, including careers, and especially writing. Here’s a section from the paragraph that follows the Ken Blanchard quote above:
This rule means that once you are 100% committed, there are no exceptions and no renegotiating. Not only does this rule make life easier and simpler, it frees you from inner conflict. Instead of debating over and over about whether you will or won’t do something, like drinking, your decision is already made. The real power and value from this comes from all the energy you can now redirect to focus on what you actually want to create and accomplish in your life.
Over the course of a lifetime of writing I have met numerous people who told me, “I’ve been told my life should become a book.” In most cases their stories really are remarkable and should be recorded and shared. These people know they are not writers, but have been led to believe they had a story to tell. And then there are the people who have told me they were planning to write The Great American Novel or some other important book they had inside them. One friend, who has never written a paragraph of fiction in his life, said he was going to quit his job, go to Florida and sit on a beach for four months to write his novel. Ha ha ha.
Writing is not the easiest occupation and it’s far from the most lucrative. That doesn’t mean you should not pursue a writing career. It may be that you want to simply improve one of the most important skills that apply to any career, the ability to translate jumbled or abstract ideas into concrete prose, into words that actually convey the nebulous notions in your head…