The most common phrase for getting it done is “Just do it.”
Desire fame and fortune? Go get it.
Want to be a published writer? Just do it.
Have a burning need to achieve full-time, paid status as a blogger? Go for it.
The problem with the Just Do It mentality is that most of us don’t know how to just do it. It’s not like getting up and putting your socks on. I can do that, how about you? Just do it lacks the inspiration of a great workshop or a fantastic networking event.
And yet, it shouts at us on a daily basis. “JUST DO IT!”
I’ll never forget the afternoon of May 4, 1990. The kids were still at school. It was quiet in the house. I was patiently … well, as patiently as a kid on Christmas Eve, you might say… waiting for the mail to arrive. I stood at the big picture window in our living room, arms crossed, eyes peeled to the road, searching for the mail truck, ignoring the weather (I have no memory of the weather), glancing at my watch every minute or two, even nibbling at my thumbnail… as time stretched like some vast universe in a vacuum, sucking the very air from my lungs.
I had high hopes for the mail that day. My story, a very involved story, had been out to the little literary journal for weeks… and weeks…and weeks; ok, maybe just two weeks, but still…it had been out for so long, I just knew I would get my acceptance letter on that fine Friday afternoon. I’d worked so diligently on that story. I’d poured my heart and soul into it. It was a masterpiece and I merely wanted recognition for it.
The phone rang. I paused in my pacing… should I answer it? In those days you had to actually go to the room the phone was in to answer it. Seriously. I kid you not.
Worried that it might be school calling about one of the kids, I ran into the kitchen to answer it. It was school. They wanted me to pick up my son who was in the nurse’s office with a fever. I acknowledged that… I should do that, that I would do that, and I hung up. I then rushed back to my spot in front of the big picture window. The mail truck was just pulling away. I ran out the front door and opened the mail box.
It was there! The letter from the literary journal. I slowly went back into the house and stared at the envelope for a long time. Maybe a whole minute. Then, remembering I had to go pick up my son, I opened the flap and pulled the letter out. Along with the letter, was my story.
“We encourage you to send more of your work,” they had written. But, they had not accepted this story. And there, at the bottom, in a scrawling handwritten note, I read, “You need to do more showing and less telling.”
Just do it.
More showing. Less telling.
Just do it.
I had no clue what they meant. Oh, I knew what more showing and less telling meant. But, I wasn’t sure how to make it happen in my writing. I thought I was doing more showing and less telling. In a slumped over discouraged way, I lay the envelope and story on the dining room table and went to get my son at school.
Learning how to show, not tell is a unique skill. I am still working on it. After that particular day, I struggled, studied, and worked on the concept of show don’t tell, in the best “just do it” way I could.
And that’s what we all need to do. We need to take that “leap of faith” as one blogger put it, to get out there and be the writer, person, professional we aspire to be… by being so. By doing what needs doing. By leaping forward with whatever training we have, and by building our expertise over time, with study, education, and all around learning.
Just do it isn’t about having all the answers or about being at the pinnacle of success. It’s about the journey. It’s about the study. It’s about the you, you want to be.
No matter what your career or business is, whether it involves a product or products, or writing or teaching or consulting, if you don’t get out there and just do it, someone else will. I promise.
Tom and Caroline and I knew that if WE did not create and launch BlogPaws, someone else would. Not having a clue how to do what we wanted to do, did not stop us. Our passion and our desire to help other pet bloggers directed us.
So, we listened to the little voice in our hearts that was whispering, “Just do it”…and we did. We took the leap of faith that said we could do it and we were the right ones to do it.
What do you want to go out there and just do? Or be? Or teach? What do you need or how can we support you to make it happen?
Yvonne DiVita is a Co-Founder of BlogPaws. She is dedicated to storytelling and the human-animal bond. When not working on BlogPaws, she writes at Scratchings and Sniffings and The Lipsticking Society. You may contact her at Yvonne@blogpaws.com .