Every kid has that fantasy career when they’re growing up: firefighter, police officer, movie star, author, etc. For me the dream was to be an astronaut and walk on the moon. Unfortunately, two realities brought me down to Earth (see what I did there?):
- I was not interested in acquiring the math and science background that such a career would require.
- We don’t fly to the moon anymore so why even bother?
As we mature, most of us abandon those childhood dreams due to similar reality checks. In the process we lose that part of us that could put a cardboard box on our head, call it a space helmet and envision no future in which we are not exploring the lunar landscape. We stop calling ourselves astronauts-in-training and we get on with life. Mortgages can’t be paid with hopes and dreams, after all.
Unfortunately, these self-inflicted limitations that we place on our imagination and self image begin to hold us back from accomplishing the dreams that are in reach.
Say you want to be a writer – what does it take? As near as I can tell, all you have to do is write.
That’s right: the mere act of writing automatically makes you a writer. No MFA required.
Want to be an actor? You don’t need drama school – you just have to act.
Want to play guitar? Strum a guitar and you’re a guitar player.
You see the pattern here. Am I simplifying things? Absolutely. Am I over-simplifying? Not at all.
Read back over the past few sentences. You’ll notice that I didn’t give you one step instructions on how to be F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leonardo DiCaprio or Dave Matthews. All I did was show you what it takes to begin down those particular paths.
One thing you will never encounter is a best-selling author who never wrote a word. I’ve told you how I feel about math and even I can see that this doesn’t add up.
Your experiences between your childhood dreaming and your present reality might make you feel as though it takes a publishing deal to be considered a writer but this is a lie: all it takes to be a writer is to write.
You are the sole author of your life story. If you want there to be any possibility that the story ends with “and all of his albums went platinum” then the next chapter must begin with “He picked up the guitar and began to strum”.