My first book would never have been written if I had not initially found the courage to take on what seemed, to me, to be a smaller challenge. I committed to writing a blog article every week for one year. Prior to that, I’d never written anything for public consumption; I had too much self-doubt and fear of criticism.
I spent about three days writing the first article. My need for it to be perfect meant I spent a lot of time researching and refining my words. The second, third and fourth articles took almost as long. This, of course, was not sustainable. I couldn’t afford to spend so much time on the task. So I had a choice: Give up or write faster and learn to let go of perfection. I decided to find the courage to ‘write and let go’. The writing needed to be completed within a day and then, no matter how imperfect I believed my writing was, I had to publish.
No matter what you create, some people will like it and some won’t. Knowing this in theory did little to build my courage as a writer. But committing to writing those articles every week would teach me some things I could only learn through taking action. One time, for example, I posted an article that I thought still needed a lot more work and I was certain it would be judged poorly. To my surprise and curiosity, the article was shared many times over and I received messages of gratitude about how the article had made a difference to my readers’ lives. Yet other times I’d write an article that I thought was worthy of an award, hit send and then… nothing. Nothing! I could hear the crickets in the silence of non-response!
It was only through the action of writing each article, and overcoming my fears of doing so, that I truly understood how little control I have over the opinions of others. I mean, I really got it. And suddenly there wasn’t much to be afraid of any more. By the time I was halfway to my goal and writing the twenty-fifth article, it was no longer a task that required a lot of courage. What had once been scary had become relatively easy and positioned me for the next thing I was called to do – writing my book. And while the book writing brought its own uncertainties, my experiences with writing articles meant I was willing to take those uncertainties on because I had already built some of the psychological muscles that would be required.
This article is an excerpt and adaptation from Seven Freedom Elements, published by Morgan James Publishing (New York), released 6th Feb 2018, and available now. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.