Excitement, orphaned: When so-called “rational thinking” extinguishes inspiration
I had an exciting idea pop into my head in 2010, like an excited 5-year-old bursting into the kitchen and then trying to get my attention. Mom. Hey mom. Mommm. Mom. Mommyyyyyyy.
The idea? What if I started writing books as part of what my business offered. My child-thought sold it this way: Look, people have all different incomes and needs, right? So you should offer helpful things in all price ranges so that everyone can see what you’re like and why you’re so fun to work with. Little stuff and big stuff and in-between stuff. Right?
Right! I was thrilled. Why hadn’t I thought of that sooner???
I scribbled a list of book topics down in my notebook. I looked at my calendar and speculated that I could spend the first two hours of every day writing if I got up just a little earlier. I went on Amazon.com to see what business books were selling well, and how much they were selling for. I was going to be an author! Whoohoooooo!
Then I started looking at things like “how to write a book people actually buy” and how many new books were flooding the market. About how hard it was to get published, and why you should/shouldn’t use an agent, and the costs of things like editing and cover design. Slowly the life of an author didn’t seem so easy anymore. I wrote “Research book publishing” on a Tuesday in my calendar, a month down the line. When that time came, I ignored it and went back to what I was doing.
It wasn’t until 2018 that I finally published my first book. Eight years later.
Ever see this pattern in yourself? Excitement, “rationality,” abandonment.
Somethings pops into mind that gives you a little frisson of “wow.” It hits a chord and you get a little flushed with excitement. You want to give it a try. You think, “I think that would just be amazing.”
Then you start to think about the odds of it succeeding.
You start to wonder if it’ll work.
You can’t remember any of your well-dressed online gurus ever talking about it in glowing terms.
You start convincing yourself you don’t know enough to pull this off.
You notice there are dishes to be done, laundry to be folded, or rush hour traffic to be beaten.
You can’t handle that right now, so you table it or calendar it or just figure you’ll come back to it later.
And it floats away.
I was so sad to have lost those eight years. I could’ve written a shelf load of books in that time. Not big, ten-years-of-research tomes, but just short, punchy books that teach my self-employed clients how to do something super-helpful in their work and life.
If only I’d listened to that excited kid, and stopped listening when all the doubts and “what ifs” started crowding into the kitchen. Well, not “stopped listening.” It’s good to hear them out. But instead of letting them in the kitchen, asking them to leave their card in a basket by the front door, and I would deal with them in my own time, in small doses that wouldn’t overwhelm me.
Listen for those first exciting moments this week. Something moving through you that seems to want to be brought to life. Something you can do for YOUR clients, or for your community, or for the world, that is undeniably beautiful and right.
When you start to feel the first quiet objections rise, send me an email at email@example.com.
Tell me what you’re excited to try. Explain it to me. (This is all confidential and will never EVER be shared with anyone else, and of course it’s free.)
Tell me about the goodness it may bring to both you and to someone else.
Tell me what excites you about it.
Write it down, click Send.
Cast it out there before the tiny seedling of it can be mowed down by so-called rational thinking, like a message in a bottle. I will answer as soon as I can, and be the excited little kid in the kitchen that feeds your excitement and helps you find a way to bring it to life. I’ll also be the wise counsel that shows you how possible it is, and why it’s worth punching through doubt to accomplish.
It’ll be fun for both of us.
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