If we were to list all the things we don’t know how to do, the list would be never ending. There is always something new to learn.
Generally though, the list of things we WANT to do is smaller. Yet the list of excuses we have for NOT doing what we want is – if not unending, certainly longer than the list of wants.
On my list of things I want is to be a writer of fiction.
Now I have my issues with writing period. And I know those issues have always held me back from doing this sort of writing especially.
I’ve used the excuse that I don’t know how so long, coupled with the bad habits I have around writing that – it unnerves me to want it.
So baby steps…
I’m learning to write Flash Fiction from Holly Lisle. She offers a 3-Week Flash Fiction writing course (totally free by the way).
That is going to be my product for the 90 Day Product Creation Challenge – an anthology of Flash Fiction stories.
I’m striking the excuse I’ve used NOT to write fiction off my list once and for all. I’m also going to build some brand new experiences around writing – good, healthy ones.
Here’s something else best learned by doing.
Building a website.
Way back in 2005 I wanted to build a website with no clue of what to do.
That’s when I first heard about WordPress. I printed the “long” instructions to install it. I read them.
I scratched my head. It was all so foreign. I didn’t think I could ever do it.
I read them again. I still was too confused to act. In fact, I was paralyzed because just reading was putting me deeper into foreign territory without knowing the language.
I read them again making a list of the words that I still didn’t understand.
Then, finally, after months of reading and increasing my vocabulary, I finally downloaded the WordPress files. The only real thing I’d needed to learn about WordPress first, was how to download and unzip a file to get started.
It wasn’t until I went into action that understanding dawned and I reached a tipping point. I then learned to use FTP.
I learned to create MySQL databases, modify php files and all manner of geekified things.
I actually learned to install WordPress because I failed at doing it time and time again. But I would have never gotten to the failing part if I hadn’t been willing to stop reading and start doing. I certainly wouldn’t be able to do it now if I was still just reading about doing it.
The reading helped show me the guideposts but it didn’t bring any understanding of them.
The tipping point wasn’t going to come through reading about everything.
It came when I took action.
Now it takes about 30 minutes for me to securely install WordPress, configure the plugins I want and never ever use that a one-click security nightmare install feature.
Does it still feel foreign? Sometimes yes. Do I worry about getting lost in the feeling? No.
Experience has taught me that the list of what we NEED to know is really not that long at all.
Half of everything I became aware of while reading has been replaced with what I actually need to know for what I want to accomplish.
It only took me years to figure out that pretty much everything I want works the same way.
We have to start.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the people who read to become aware or more informed. But that’s not where knowing comes from.
It’s okay to read and familiarize ourselves but we aren’t going to know for sure what we really need to learn until we act.
Action is when the learning starts to happen automatically.
Set a public date to begin using what you’re reading by sharing it with others.
If you want to get your feet wet with fiction check out Holly’s free Flash Fiction course.
If that’s not your thing, tell me what is.
What have you just been reading about doing and what date are you going to start doing?
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