Monday, March 16, 2009

Just Do It

"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action." ~Frank Tibolt

Author, Linda Ford posted a message awhile back in the RWA Online Forum where she puzzled over the resistance she experienced every time she sat down to write. I can pull up page after page in my own journal where I shook my own mental fist at the universe and asked the same thing.

A friend had phoned a couple of months ago, puzzling over her own resistance, this in relation to working out at the gym. She thrives on exercising, so why does she procrastinate and avoid an activity she loves? She hoped I would provide some magic answer and all I could tell her was this. Don’t think about it. Just do it.

It sounds too simple. Too flippant. Yet, Linda herself summed it up with an illuminating insight: “What made me slip into considering the activity rather than doing it?”

“A warrior lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what he will think when he has finished acting.” –Carlos Castaneda

What I realized as I began this essay is this. For all the tasks we face, whether they be pleasurable or onerous, there’s always one distinction. Do we have a choice? When we don’t, we can’t allow ourselves the luxury to think about it. We know we have to just do it. Now, this doesn’t stop the cycle of resistance! If it were that easy, there would be no missed deadlines. *rueful grin* It does, however, provide a clue as to the process. Since we CAN choose, we stop and think. People who perform heroic acts would probably all agree, had they stopped to think about it, they probably wouldn’t have had the courage. Or the strength. Or the extra push needed to succeed.

Just Do It.

“You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.” –Henry Ford

Years ago, a good friend of mine told me why he loved to ski. “When you’re up on that snowy mountain, you can’t stop and think about everything. You just do it.”


There it is again.

Linda’s post prompted much thought on my part. A contemplation about both resistance and the choice to resist. In all areas of my life. Even in the mental phrasing of what I’m doing.

Do I say to myself, “Today I HAVE to write. Today I HAVE to edit this many pages.”

Or do I just say, “Today I write. Today I edit this many pages.”

Hmm… Food for thought.

“It is always your next move.” --Napoleon Hill

Just Do It.

How can it still be winter? *grin* Spring is almost upon us and here we are at the crux of change. It is up to us to choose which direction to take each day. Should we consider whether or not to write or simply write? What is our choice?

Consider this…

Whatever we want to accomplish, we can. Whatever we choose to accomplish, we will. Whatever we want to be, we are.

We Are Writers. And what do writers do?

We Write! So… Just Do It! *grin*

Here's to a solid week of productivity. Write-write-WRITE! Go-go-GO!!

Smiles to you,

Chiron O'Keefe

Featured at Pop Culture Divas


Emma Newman said...

Oh so true again!

Three big milestones for this struggle in my life:

The divorcing of mood from the initiation of writing. I learnt that I didn't have to be in the mood to write - that's a luxury and so rare that books would never tumble from my fingers if I waited for 'the right mood' to happen upon me.

Two: That the awful, churning, anguished avoidance of writing because of fear is WORSE than the moment of getting on with it and writing past that point.

Three: Accepting that first drafts are for feeling the way, not producing the polished.

Took many, many years, and a healthy dollop of Julia Cameron to realise these - but you know, since implementing these approaches, my prose has improved and I am a lot less grumpy :o) But I have to remind myself of them every time - they're not yet bedded down.

Celia Yeary said...

JUST DO IT! Isn't that a commercial for NIKE? Just do it. So easy to say, so difficult to do.
But at times, we must say that to ourselves, give ourselves a little kick in the rear-end, a little chastisement, a little push in the right direction.And Oh, how I've needed that. Particularly when I've had a bad time with edits--"More emotion!" "More involvement!" Less telling, and more showing! Yes, yes, I know, but we as writers often become lazy. Don't you think? We want to tell instead of show! So, Chiron, my dear,there's your next topic. "The lazy author--she tells instead of showing." Thanks sweetie--Celia

Linda LaRoque said...

Excellent point, Chiron, about choice. If excercising was part of my job, I didn't have a choice, I'd be in great shape. But, because I have a choice, I resist. I think I need my head examined!


Chiron said...

Hello Emma!

Excellent perspective. You are so right about all three. I recommend to people when feeling that fear, pull up your last writing piece. Often reading through my words gives me a boost and before I even remember my fear, I'm writing again. *smile*

Like you, I can always use the reminders. *heh-heh*

Happy writing this week!

Smiles and hugs,
Chiron O'Keefe

Chiron said...

Celia, of all things, Lazy you are not!

*snort* Those edits can wring you out, can't they? I'm struggling through and it's an invaluable learning experience but boy am I exhausted! Whew!

Thank goddess I love writing. *wink*

Thanks for checking in, Celia. Wishing you swift and painless editing!!

Smiles and hugs,

Chiron said...

Linda, I hear you!

Soometimes I suspect I created 'back' issues just to force me into the exercise reality. Hmm, you don't think my inner self is that sneaky, do you?

Even though the memory of my back issues is terrifying, I still resist. The only way for me to exercise is do the same darn thing. Don't Think. Just Do It.

Here's to making all the right choices!

Smiles and hugs,

Sandy said...


You're right. When I set my mind to do something I will not let anyone interfere with me. Just do it.

Life does interrupt, but not forever.


Mary Jo said...

Hi Chiron,

I must apologize. I just learned today you've sold a book. I'm so happy for you. I'm putting your blogsite on my to read every day page from now on.

Bet you don't remember me. Think WisRWA and FAB 5. :-)

Have a great day.

Mary Jo/ aka Casey Clifford

Kathy Holmes said...

While I've been a member of RWA for several years, I just joined the online group today. Your post about loving yourself really hit home and I feel so encouraged and supported already. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Chiron said...

Hello Sandy!

You're absolutely right, life does interrupt, but our focus depends on our choices.

We just have to set our minds to something and stick to it!

Thanks for your comment, Sandy!

Smiles and hugs,

Chiron said...

Hello Mary Jo!

I do remember you! Yes, I sold my Women's Fiction and I'm really quite thrilled. Thanks so much!!

And thanks for adding me to your site. It's much appreciated.

Smiles and hugs!

Chiron said...

Kathy, it's so lovely to meet you! Welcome to both RWAOL and The Write Soul.

The essay on self-love hit home for me too. It's so easy to forget the one person who sticks by our side throughout it all. I'm glad you're here, Kathy. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I look forward to seeing you around the writing community!!

Smiles and hugs,