A friend of mine told me today that I am living the dream. “You are so lucky to have a book!” she gushed. “I wish I could do that.” I’ve known this woman for about 10 years and for the last decade she has expressed the same sentiment. She wants to be a writer… only without writing.
“You can!” I always tell her. “Just start writing anything and find your niche. You don’t start with the great American novel. You go looking for it.” Then comes the litany of excuses.
She doesn’t have a space set aside for writing. She can’t devote the time right now. She has to think of the right idea. Today I reminded her she’d been saying the same thing for the last 10 years. “I know!” she answered. “I’m just not as lucky as you tho…” And the conversation was over as she walked away.
All afternoon I fumed about it. I believe in luck and blessings but I don’t believe they fall on your head unbidden. If you want good things to happen to you then be prepared to go get them. Wrestle that leprechaun for his gold. Fame and fortune don’t just happen.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the most successful American fathers ever, knew this truth. He says, “Industry, perseverance, and frugality make fortune yield.” Perseverance is the key word here. If you want something, go after it like a hungry wolf. Let nothing stop you. Cold, fear and other predators are merely obstacles to overcome as you go after your goal. Don’t stop until you’ve taken it down and, excuse my slang, made it your bitch.
The only difference between us and people that do amazing things is that they did amazing things. They didn’t wake up one morning as a great writer, artist or musician. They stunk at first, just like we do. The difference is they kept at it. They felt stupid and frustrated by their clumsy attempts but they didn’t let it stop them. They were mad obsessed… they were crazy… they were like hungry wolves after their goals.
I’ve tried to tell my long time friend this but she’d rather spend her days wishing so instead I’ll spend my tirade on you. Go do what your heart prompts. Don’t let fear stop you. You are a hungry wolf and there are few things more persistent. Your success is inevitable (for sure, a fact, an inescapable truth) as long as you do one simple thing.
Keep at it.