Are You Waiting For Perfect?

A man in boots sits on a ledge in front of plate glass windows
Brooke Cagel – Unsplash

There have been many changes in my life recently, great ones. They’ve kept me busy.

A new home. A new town, a promotion to a dream job, and a new child. Amazing provisions for which I am unequivocally grateful.

Through it all, I waited. For the perfect post to begin my blog again. I searched for the perfect subject line, moving content, the best beginning, but I wrote nothing at all.

An email hit my inbox a few weeks ago from illustrator/writer Jessica Abel author of Growing Gills and my personal favorite Out on the Wire (which has an amazing podcast by the way). The title went like this – If you are waiting for conditions to be perfect, you’ll die waiting.

Distractions, both good and bad, are everywhere.

She said this in her email:

And it’s easy to look at all those things (any distraction in life) and despair, to think there’s no way you’ll ever get a handle on it all. You might be right. But here’s the big secret to having a sustainable creative life.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

You can CHOOSE your work even if everything else in your life isn’t dialed in.

You have a right and a responsibility to your creative work.

We’re imperfect people with imperfect schedules. Why would I think shaking the rust off would mean anything more than an okay post with mediocre passion for it?

It’s time now to move. For action.

I truly hoped to start blogging again with something amazing, but this is what you get. A resolve to not wait and a commitment to write. Also, an admission that I let the beast of perfection win for a while.

But no more.

In what area of your life are you waiting for perfect?

 

Let Your Actions Back Up Your Talk

Occasionally, I find myself in this embarrassing situation. I tell someone my plan for renovating my house, my latest book, or another random dream. Cool, they say, do you need help with that?

I stare at them realizing I haven’t touched that book in weeks, researched costs for the renovation, or fleshed out that dream. I’m talking about what I want to do and forgetting the most integral part of any dream – Action.

hear me out

My goal for this post, and I hope many before it, is to lead you to action, something I find I lose every now and then. I read books, blogs, and websites, but forget the most integral part of all of the learning and research. The follow through.

This is what Part-Time Novel is all about – becoming a writer in the margins of life. But in order to become anything you must actually work on that thing.

You can’t just talk about wanting a better marriage. You must spend quality time with your spouse. If I said I love you to my wife but never spent time cultivating our relationship, they’re just words.

Whenever I become unsatisfied with something, it is usually because of my lack of follow through. I have not taken the time to sit down and work on it.

This past weekend I thought long and hard about what I wanted in the next six months. Books, proposals, new website launches, etc., and I developed an action plan, not just a list of to dos, and have been working on them every day.

How about you? Do you ever find yourself talking and not acting?

What do you need to act on today?

Time is the currency we all have. Use it well.

My Writing Update

I always think I am going to accomplish more than I do. Ever have that problem? I have a grand plan, a sure fire way to get more writing done, then I forget about something else that steals time.

Though I traveled for work from Monday through Thursday evening this past week, I got little writing done on my novel, however, something exciting happened. I was asked to lead a workshop about Worldbuilding at a writing conference in October.

I’ll be prepping for the Breathe Conference, the Jot Conference talk about blogging in a few weeks, and trying to get a few short stories out in between. We’ll see.

Below is a recap of my weekly blogs. Please review if you missed anything!

Photo Credit: :ray via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: :ray via Compfight cc

On Monday, it was crazy talk. I wrote about how we critique ourselves into pretzels even before we try our hand at writing, launching a business, or any creative pursuit.

On Tuesday it was a question about our blogging platforms. Do you blog for stats or do you blog with a message?

Wednesday it was family time. I wrote about how my daughter wrote with marker on my desk and how it made me tear up. Wonder why? Read it!

Motivation is a hard thing to get once it’s gone. On Thursday it was all about sequestering one bad day so it does not become a bad week, month, or year.

We all have unexpected things that come up that create the fight or flight emotions to rise up within us. I talk about 5 things I learned from an unexpected challenge in Friday’s post.

Ever day dream about doing something but never actually do it? In this post I challenge you to stop thinking about it and start acting on it.

Write well this week.

Let me know what you think of this past week’s post below.

Don’t Daydream. Act!

Before I started writing I would often day dream about it. I would think of a cabin overlooking a pine forest where the gentle morning fog settled on the lowlands. I would finish it, take a long sip of coffee and lean back satisfied knowing I could now exit the land of the cubicle.

What I built felt comfortable. It felt doable. I would get there in some vague part of my future.

Photo Credit: zenobia_joy via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: zenobia_joy via Compfight cc

Have you ever day dreamed about the life you wanted? We all have. It’s fun and it’s easy. And therein lies our problem. We convince ourselves of the lie of someday and we move on with our lives.

If you’ve been writing with any longevity you know being an author is one of the most challenging things you can do for a living. Not only do few make a living from it but you aren’t just battling competition and for your chunk of cheese, you are fighting with yourself, disbelieving that you could actually put something together that people would care to read.

This is why I’ve stopped day dreaming about what I want. Instead, when I start to creep in that direction I make myself think of a one practical thing I can do to move toward it.

Write a blog, write 1000 words on my book, contact someone I know at the local paper to see if I can contribute an article, or contribute a guest post on a blog.

Action. This is the key to avoid simply filing away those comfortable thoughts about where we are called to be in life.