How Do You Write 120,000 Words?

CaptureMy bouncing baby Pearls of Leadership Wisdom blog is four years old. Plus or minus a few days.

How did she get to be so big? Seems like she was only born yesterday.

I was there. Worried. Scared.

But she made it.

There have been some close shaves in her young life.  

She really pissed some people off about two years ago. Some of them wrote to me and were very, very rude! No class.

It’s not easy bringing up kids. In many ways it’s dehumanising. In the short term. It really is.

You go from what feels like the top of Maslow’s hierarchy where there’s lots of languorous self-absorption and lost weekends to spending the first years of your baby’s life effectively mucking out the stable for a salary that would be minimum wage if you got paid to do it which you don’t. (Hold on – I forgot about Child Support – 70 quid a month. Doesn’t even cover the wine bill.)

And of course parenting is a bit like management – you don’t get into it for the thanks.

And you do all that and then you look around and you’re almost 50!

I am OK with all of this…

…because I never felt my life should be one long party. I am not looking to get to the end with the minimum of hours worked.  

But getting back to my four-year-old baby blog…she balances me. She brings me into contact with people I would never have met before, who challenge me and improve me.  

She educates me, sometimes through my own gritted teeth.

After these four years, I have turned out a better person. I mean better than I would have otherwise been. I am not saying you have to have a kid to improve. It’s just that this particular kid improved me. You may well have your own means. With kid or without.

So…for me…

After four years of bringing up baby, I have come out the other end more measured, thoughtful, experienced, knowledgeable, tolerant, coachy (new word!) and mentory (another new word!).

And some other people have been improved too…my blog has helped them. They have had more fun and more satisfaction out of their jobs and lives because of my witterings…

This is pleasing.

Writing the blog is a habit and a discipline. She makes me write when I don’t want to. She makes me think and read and conjure something out of the ether when I’d rather be doing something less onerous. She demands and demands and demands and causes me pain all the time but it’s worth it.  

Nothing I’ve ever done of any value was easy or quick. When I started the blog I was scared of the commitment required and the sheer potential embarrassment of simply giving up after a few posts and creating another zombie blog…alive and online, but really dead (last post, December 2002, for example,…there’s a lot of this around…)

I couldn’t see myself writing two hundred posts (120,000 words or roughly 480 book pages!)

I couldn’t imagine any of it. But I knew that that’s fear of failure and for me that’s a red rag to a bull.

So how do you write 120,000 words?

Six hundred at a time, that’s how.

So on 25th May 2009 I took the first step. That’s all you ever can do. You take the first step.

Psychologists have shown that the cure for procrastination is a tiny, tiny, tiny wee bit of…action. In other words, the first step. Fear of failure and everything else that prevents us taking the first step is often overcome when we do take the first step and then we find it difficult to not take the second step. The wheels have started to move. Inertia converts into momentum.

You will almost certainly have something big on your mind that you’d like to do. Some project. Some exciting thing. Don’t wait for the best time to start. It doesn’t exist. Don’t fret about not knowing at the start everything you need to know to get to the end. Life is not a jigsaw puzzle. You don’t get all the pieces at the beginning.

There is no perfect time or set of circumstances that must be in place.

There is only action and there is only right now.

There is only the first step. What’s yours?

6 Responses to How Do You Write 120,000 Words?

  1. Keith Plumb June 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Okorie Nwaite June 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Indeed your blog has helped me in many ways.I always look forward to your post.Thank you and congratulations.

  3. Gerry Simons June 5, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    You are so right about not waiting for the best time to start. I had a rough day yesterday, we all do from time to time, and those few words helped. So thank you Mark.

  4. Angie Daly June 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    The start of a long journey begins with a single step (Lao Tzu). I started the journey with a Mindset workshop and the Pearl reminds me that I am not on the path on my own – its full of interesting and determined people! Thanks Mark!

  5. manxclare June 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Mark , your great and so is the toddler ….

  6. manxclare June 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Mark, your great and so is the toddler

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