Let’s get right to the meat and potatoes. You have something you want to write. You have it in your head – and in your heart too. It’s a novel, or a comic strip, a screenplay or a poem. Or – it’s a painting you keep seeing in your mind’s eye. Or it’s a rocket ship you know you can build. Or a restaurant that you know will be a huge success. It’s all the same. Meaning: whatever it is, you are absolutely meant to do it. You must do it. You are thinking about it because you want to do it, and you ARE able to. This is very exciting.
Now here’s the thing. Let this one piece of wisdom be your guide: You must feel Joy while doing it. That’s the bottom line. There are a million messages in your head every second. I know. I have them too. Enough to drive a person bananas. But among them are visions of You, doing something well. These visions fill you with smiles. (And sometimes tears of longing too.) Pay attention to these particular visions. Listen to them. And begin. BEGIN. (And if you’ve already begun, fantastic. Continue! Never stop!)
But what about good old Fear, you ask. I know! I hear you! I have it too. It kicks in daily: Tells me I’m not ready; tells me I’m not accomplished enough; tells me I’m not focused enough; tells me I’ll get to it later; tells me others have done it first. Nonsense! Raspberry, I tell you! A pox on Fear! Noble blog reader: Here again is where our one piece of wisdom comes in handy again: Are you feeling Joy? In all my experience, Fear ain’t fun. Does not qualify. Fear stinks. Fear can take a hike. Listen to the thoughts that give you Joy, dear dreaming adventurer. Dear pursuer of Greatness. Stick with the images of You, Doing the Thing you Love. Then go Do It.
One last thing: The So-Called Rules. There aren’t any. No such thing. Haven’t you noticed the way “official rules” are always vetoed and trumped by new “official rules”? Ha! Yes! People make them up! Rules are meant to be invented! So. Find a way to paint / sing / write / rap / draw / build, any way that you like. You do not need “the correct tools”, nor “the proper coach”. You are never obligated to follow “the conventional steps” or employ “the rules of the form”. Nope! No way, Jose. You need only follow your Joy. What about “I’m too old.” I spit on it. You can take that “I’m too old” and stick it where the sun don’t shine. “You are too old” is another rule some idiot once made up in order to sell his product. “I’m too old” goes out the window. No such thing. Never was. Now. Pursue your Bliss. That is what you are here to do. You are born to do it. Begin right this moment. And Keep Going, Friend.
Two PostScripts for you:
PS #1 – Here is the trailer for the movie we made, RUBY BOOBY. We had not one penny in our pockets when we began. We simply started. We borrowed equipment from friends. Filmed it with a consumer video Canon HV20 camcorder. Yup. We borrowed locations from neighbours. We borrowed a tiny amount of cash to buy food for the team and then we bought the food at the Dollar Store. Then a friend made a website for us, and we raised some money – enough to pay back our generous friends, and to finish the movie. (You can also make your own website for free right here at WordPress. I did.) Just begin. There are no rules. Anything is possible. Start now.
P.S. #2 – I love Patton Oswalt. Love his stand-up; love his acting; love the way he lives his life. I love his giant heart, his razor wit, his silliness, and his persistence. Please read his keynote address at Montreal’s Just For Laughs 2012: “Letters to Both Sides”. Whenever you read the words “comedian” or “comedy”, please substitute them for “novelist”, “filmmaker”, “dancer”, “singer” or “inventor”. Or any other pursuit of your choosing. This article is directly about you, dear resilient reader. It is about all of us. So exciting. Read, read.