Want to write a novel? Be a journalist? Be a freelance writer? Be a social media consultant? To do all this, you need to take a very important step: take that leap of faith.
Aubrey Andrus wrote a post I heart so much: The First Hurdle: Why Writers Should Stop Being Scared and Take the Leap of Faith. One particular paragraph really stood out for me:
Even the talented ones who are likely to be very successful as a freelancer prefer to dawdle and over-research what it takes to go out on their own. They dream instead of do. But your dreams will not come true until you step over that first hurdle. Take that first leap. Bust your excuses. Start taking action instead of thinking about it.
I was exactly like that! For years I dreamt about writing that novel. So, I read and read and read books about writing. I had shelves full of them. But did I do any actual writing? Nope. I realised I wanted to be as perfect and equipped as I can before I start anything. But you know what? You can never learn until you do the actual thing and make mistakes.
So, I started writing. In the beginning it was difficult to battle my perfectionist tendencies and not listen to my inner critic, but I managed it! I ended up writing a short story and submitting it to the MPH Alliance short story contest. I didn't win or anything, but boy it felt so good to finish a story!
After that, I became bolder and bolder. I ignored that inner critic monster and took a few leaps of faith. I submitted a poem to an anthology. (Didn't get in, but Sharon Bakar gave me awesome feedback.) Then I called up a publisher to find out if they were interested to publish a few children's stories I wrote a couple of years ago. The time it took for them to get back to me was tough for me, but in the end they came back with a yes! That was how the Trixie Koala series of children's books was born. The books are now published in paperback and ebook format.
Aubrey also wrote this: You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Moving to Australia. Getting published. Working as a digital content writer. These were the things I thought I could not ever do because they seemed too difficult, too impossible. But here I am, living my dreams at last because I dared to take the leap and dared to fail. And I did fail a few times. But rather than moan and dwell on it, I picked myself up and walked towards the next challenge. That's what I recently learned. It's not about doing the right things to succeed -- it's about knowing that you're going to be all right even if you fail.
Photo by LarryLens.