Getting it Done

Getting it done. That is, getting the book written. I don’t mean having the book ready for publication, but just getting the story on paper from the opening sentence to the final period. That is a lot easier said than done. Though there are still many steps before completion, getting it in a working first draft stage is paramount. It is that vital first step. Not simply because it is a long arduous process writing a book, even though it is, but because we let so many things get in the way of achieving our goal. If you don’t finish what you start it’s as if you didn’t do anything at all.

There is the infamous writer’s block. I define that as those times when you couldn’t write your name with a blow torch, not to mention an ink pen. For some odd and unexplained reason there is nothing there. No ideas, no words, no concepts at all. It’s as if all aspects of language have disappeared from your brain. It is a scary and frustrating thing. How do you overcome it? I have no answer for that. I simply go and do something else until it passes. And it does; eventually.

Then there is what I call the constant editor. I am totally guilty of this. Rereading and rewriting what you’ve already done, going over things and making punctuation corrections, spelling corrections, letting the search for the perfect word put all progress to a halt, rearranging sentences and paragraphs, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Instead of just writing the doggone thing and coming back to fine tune what you’ve done later. “Stop it!” I have to forcefully tell myself. “That is what rewrites, subsequent drafts and editing are for.” But those things don’t happen until after you’ve written the thing.

The busy body, we are all guilty of this contrary to whether you are writing a book, starting a business or doing anything else. This is the time when we just can’t seem to find the time, energy, or concentration to do the work so we make excuses and find reason why we can’t do what it is we need to do. Everything else in the world is just one priority above the work. We find that we can’t concentrate because our mind is on anything and everything else. Excuses like “You’re being selfish or irresponsible and should be doing something more important. This isn’t a priority, at least not as important as say, washing the dishes. I’ll do it later when things calm down. I’ll get up early and do it then or I’ll double down and do twice as much tomorrow.” All of these things and more are just delaying tactics and excuses. To make things worse when we admit this to ourselves we feel twice as bad for not buckling down and getting it done.

The list of things we allow to get in the way of our goals is long and varied. This was just a small portion of some of the things I have let get in my way when in reality there is only one real reason. “I simply did not sit down and do it. My commitment was to be kind, lacking.”  Doing anything you have a passion to do from writing a book to learning to play an instrument to getting that PHD, takes commitment and determination.

Will some things fall to wayside? Of course. Will you have to rearrange things and make some sacrifices? Yes. Will your efforts result in a success? Maybe, there is no way to know that until you put in the work.

Getting it done is more than just sitting in the chair and banging on the keys to get something on the paper. It’s acknowledging that what you want and what you do matter. It’s giving yourself permission to put your own personal desires high on your priority list. It’s saying to yourself and the world “Hey this is important to me.”