When an opportunity presents itself, sometimes you just have to go for it. In that split second before there is time to think about it, talk yourself out of it, rationalize, be practical, or “mull it over,” GO FOR IT.
Especially when it comes to writing your book. Just say yes. Swing for the fences and start running the bases.
It may feel impractical, crazy, reckless, inconvenient, or downright dangerous. That’s how you know you’re onto something. If you have an immediate and overwhelming impulse to run, if your entire body heaves with fear, and if your first thought is, Oh, hell no, it’s a definite sign that you should do that very thing. That impulse is your soul speaking to you. And the overwhelming emotional response is your fear on loudspeaker; your identity is just doing its job … protecting itself, protecting you, and maintaining the status quo. It will feel like a threat because, to your identity, behind the cover it is a threat.
That is the whole point.
The reaction will be out of proportion to the stimulus because it has triggered the identity’s need for protection. Ignore that shit. The amygdala (or the identity, or the ego, or whatever you want to call it) is part of our primitive brain, designed to keep us safe from saber-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths when we were cavemen and cavewomen. The brain doesn’t know the difference between a real threat (you are actually in physical danger and being chased by a lion) and a perceived threat (writing your book and sharing your personal narrative with the world). One will kill you, the other will just feel like it is killing you. Big difference.
You have to ignore the fight-or-flight instinct and forge ahead. The rewards will exceed your wildest expectations. This is the only path to getting your book written.
Once you say “yes,” it involves committing to that yes, over and over again, until the book is done. In other words, you have to set and keep a deadline. No matter what. Your brain will seek out every excuse in the (ahem!) book. As long as you are giving more power to those excuses, your book will never get written, and you will be in exactly this same spot a year from now.
There comes a time in every wannabe writer’s life that, directly put, you’ve got to shit or get off the pot. If you’ve been procrastinating for years on writing your book, maybe it’s just not meant to be written—at least not by you, not right now. Either way, you have to decide: Are you going to do this thing or not?
It’s pretty basic. Suck it up, put on your adulting pants and do the things you know you need to do. Make a plan and get help! I’ve got something that can help you here: take a look. Taking that first step and saying yes is the hardest part but in the end, it will all be worth it.