Move from Thinking to Doing

Observation and thought – two characteristics that have served me well as a writer. Not so much when it comes to living life.

My whole life I have watched others and considered how their actions get them to where they are. When I was young, this meant watching how my older brothers got into trouble. Hey, I’m a firm believer in learning from others’ mistakes.

napoleon quoteThe problem is that all this thinking often keeps me from experiencing adventures. I think about what could happen and talk myself out of them. When I do take action, I often feel like I’m diving into an Olympic-sized pool of Arctic water.

The result is that things turn out fine, usually a lot better than I anticipated. So why do I let that little voice inside my head paralyze me?

I admire my daughter who is definitely a doer. In fact, she often does too much and gets herself in trouble. She’s usually juggling so much, that she gets overwhelmed and distracted.

If I could only take her “doing” and my “thinking” and combine them together into one person – a sort of Clarkenstein monster perhaps – that would be perfect! Unfortunately, my utility budget couldn’t stand the strain, so I must figure out a better way.

So here goes:

  • Stop anticipating. That little voice is not a fortuneteller; it can’t really know the outcome of my action.
  • What will be, will be. When that little voice says, “Don’t do it! You’ll get hurt,” just remember that I can deal with whatever comes.
  • Doing gets me to where I want to be. No matter how much that voice tells me to wait because the time isn’t right, I know it’s wrong. I can’t get anywhere without taking that first step, then the next…
  • Fear is an illusion my mind produces. That little voice that tells me all the bad things that can happen to me is nothing more than a character I have created. Therefore, I can kill it off if I really want to.

When I stop thinking too much and start doing, I experience more. When I experience more, I enrich myself and, consequently, my writing.

P.S. For those of you near South Carolina, the Rock Hill Chapter of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop will hold “Writers’ Secrets Uncovered,” its annual Writers Intensive on Saturday, April 25. Sunscribe Publishers, one of the main sponsors, is holding a contest for an exhibit table. The contest ends Sunday, March 22.