For twenty years, I’ve had the joyful job of helping people get their ideas out of their head and into the world in the shape of books and blogs.
I tell them, “Ideas in your head help no one.”
Have you ever thought of it that way?
If you have EEE – Experiences, Expertise and Epiphanies – that would benefit others; it’s almost selfish to keep them to yourself.
When you think about it that way; writing is a way of contributing. It’s a way of saying, “Here’s an offering of insights and observations. I hope they might be of interest and value to you.”
Yet, many people who want to write start out with passion and the best of intentions, and then life intervenes. They get distracted, busy, overwhelmed. They put their books and blogs aside to deal with other priorities … and never get back to them. And that’s a path to regrets.
Aviation Pioneer Chuck Yeager said, “At the moment of truth, there are either reasons or results.”
Henry Miller said “Life, for most of us, is one long postponement.”
We postpone getting our stories and ideas out of our head. We wait for a perfect tomorrow when we’ve got more energy, free time or discipline.
The fact is though, there will never be a perfect tomorrow. We’ll never have more time than we have right now.
Before he became a bestselling author, John Grisham, (The Last Juror) got up at 5 every morning to write for a couple hours before he went into his law practice.
Jacquelyn Mitchard, (the first Oprah pick with The Deep End of the Ocean) wrote at her kitchen table while her 5 kids were at school Monday-Friday.
Harvard Business professor John Kotter said, “Do you know what the #1 precursor is to change? A sense of urgency.”
It’s time to feel a sense of urgency about your writing.
What’s the story you were born to tell? The message you’ve lived to share? The legacy message you want to pass along? The time to write it is NOW.
You know what can help? Keep these sources of inspiration “in sight, in mind,” so no matter how busy, tired or overwhelmed you are … you write a page a day.
That’s all. A page.
Because, if you write a page a day, in six months, you’ll have a 180 page manuscript. You’ll have a couple dozen blogs. You’ll have gotten your ideas out of your head and into the world where they can make a positive difference for others and a prosperous living for you.
Sound good? If so, print out these quotes and put them where you’ll frequently see them – on your refrigerator, by your desk, next to your laptop.
Promise yourself you’ll sit down somewhere, sometime each day and write a page. You can do that.
And when you get those blogs and books into the hands, heads and hearts of readers; you will experience the tangible satisfaction of knowing you’re adding value, extending your impact, expanding your influence.
Long after you’re gone, your ideas will still be out there. Making someone’s day a little better, a little brighter. Helping people be a more effective leader, parent, friend, person. Motivating people to look at their world with fresh eyes and renewed appreciation.
You will never regret getting your ideas out of your head and into the world. You will only regret not doing it.
Promise yourself you’ll start today. Which of these following quotes speaks to you? How does it inspire you to sit down and write here, write now?
- “If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” – Dan Poynter
- When asked the secret to finishing his 500 page masterpiece The Power of One, author Bryce Courtenay growled, “Bum glue!”
- “If my doctor told me I had only 6 months to live, I’d type a little faster.” – Isaac Asimov
- “Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.” – Madeleine L’Engle
- “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at9 amevery morning.” – Peter DeVries
- “I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.” – Steve Martin
- “I made a startling discovery. Time spent writing = output of work. Amazing.” – Ann Pachett
- “Ever tried and failed? No matter. Try again and fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
- “It’s never too late – in fiction or in life – to revise.” – Nancy Thayer
- “If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me? You are a human being with a unique story to tell. You have every right.” – Richard Rhodes
- “The way to resume is to resume. It is the only way. To resume.” – Gertrude Stein
- “Best advice on writing I’ve ever received. Finish.” – Peter Mayle
- “When I am writing, I am doing the thing I was meant to do.” – Anne Sexton
- “You can sit there, tense and worried, freezing the creative energies, or you can start writing something. It doesn’t matter what. In five or ten minutes, the imagination will heat, the tightness will fade, and a certain spirit and rhythm will take over.” – Leonard Bernstein
- “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged. I had pieces that were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.” – Erica Jong
- “Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point you have to throw yourself into action and put your heart on the line.” – Lakers basketball coach Phil Jackson
- “The faster I write, the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.” – Raymond Chandler
- “When you speak, your words echo across the room. When you write, your words echo across the ages.” – Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul author Bud Gardner
- “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg
- “I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” – Pearl S. Buck
- “Planning to write is not writing. Writing is writing.” – E. L. Doctorow
- “I think the worst, most insidious procrastination for me is research. I will be looking for some bit of fact to include in the novel, and before I know, I’ve wasted an entire morning delving into that subject matter without a word written.” – James Rollins
- “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso
- “There’s a trick I’m going to share with you. I learned it almost twenty years ago and I’ve never forgotten it … so pay attention. Don’t begin at the beginning.” – Lawrence Block
- “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work and write; you don’t give up.” -Anne Lamott
- “I write because I cannot fly, but words can, and when they land, worlds appear.” – Susan Zeder
- “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
- “A year from now, you will wish you had started today.” – Ruth Reed, (Sam Horn’s mom)
As you can tell, I love quotes. Do you have a favorite you don’t see here? If so, please share it below or email it to me at Sam@IntrigueAgency.com
– – – – – –
Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert, TEDx speaker and former Executive Director of the Maui Writers Conference, is a communication strategist who helps people create one-of-a-kind projects – presentations, pitches, books and brands – that scale their impact for good. Her work – including POP!, Tongue Fu! and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention? – has been endorsed by Stephen Covey, Dan Pink, Tony Robbins and Marshall Goldsmith and featured in Fast Company, New York Times, Forbes, INC and BusinessWeek.