Wednesday 24th January 2018
I have no idea why, but I somehow only managed 3 hours sleep last night. As a result I’ve been ridiculously tired all day, not achieved much and have decided to focus this edition of The Climb on some practical advise on getting started.
It doesn’t help when it’s an incredibly busy day. I’d managed to do my fitbit 10k steps before it was even 11am after walking to the hospital and back. From there it was into the office and onto swordfighting training where I was teaching. And then it was a long drive back home to arrive back around midnight. As a result, I didn’t feel like I accomplished much. Even when I have long drives, my brain is often mulling over things resulting in decisions or interesting conclusions. Today I was just trying not to fall asleep at the wheel.
So let me use this edition of The Climb to give you some practical advise on getting started. Whether you are wanting to be an author or achieve some other aim, the process is pretty much the same.
There’s a reason why this daily blog is called The Climb. It’s because you have to see that great aim of your as the tip of a mountain. Many people never get started because they look at the mountain peak and say “but I’m at sea level. How can I possibly jump to there?”
The answer is just like climbing a mountain: one step at a time. If you want to accomplish something hard you have to realise that it’s going to be hard. Sure, your idols make it seem easy, posting Instagram pictures of themselves with shelves of their books or enjoying amazing locations. But they stress and pull their hair out just as much as you do.
Sometimes the very idea of climbing that mountain can seem daunting. Yes, of course it is. If it was easy, don’t you think everyone would be doing it? There’s a temptation to convince yourself that unless you have the very best ‘climbing gear’ (i.e. new laptop, top of the range word processor, etc) you can’t possibly begin. Or that you should wait until the weather is better.
Procrastination is easy and it’s born out of fear of failure. If I can give anyone one piece of advice, it’s to make failure your friend. You ARE going to fail, whether that be a rejection from a publisher or a story that doesn’t work out. Failure is where you learn, and better that you do it when you first trying to assault that mountain. Too many people never start because they worry they’ll do it wrong. But in truth, the greats in any art or activity became great by becoming best friends with failure. Natural talent is overrated, it’ll only get you to the first basecamp. Everything else is born out of sheer graft.
I might not have achieved anything today, but that doesn’t mean I won’t tomorrow. I continue to try and climb. Some days I make a little progress, some days I fail, but I keep going and it’s only when I take a moment to catch my breath and admire the view from this mountain of mine that I really realise just how much progress I’ve made.
Start today, whether it be one word, a small bit of exercise, or booking a class. The peak of your mountain is only reached by taking tiny steps and by taking a tiny one today, you’re one step closer to your goal.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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