3 years ago, I was feeling frustrated. I was a sporadic blogger, I had written a couple Burnside articles but wanted to write more, and I was a terrible time waster.
I’m not sure why, but I thought it would be a good idea to write a letter to myself. So on September 10, 2007 I opened up GMail and wrote myself an email. I never actually sent it, but it’s been sitting in my “Drafts” folder for the past 3 years and occasionally I’ll go back and read it.
This is a little embarrassing to share, but here’s what I wrote:
look, here’s the thing. you have to ability to do things well if you work at them. you also have enough time to be able to do it. so do alot of people. you have the initiative too, which not everyone has, but you do. what you need to do is set some time aside to think. brainstorm. for ideas about future projects, ideas about current projects, ideas about time management, ideas about life management. its too easy to go through your day and just do whatever comes next without thinking about the bigger picture. its too easy for ideas and initiative to get lost in the shuffle. this idea (to block time off for brainstorming) is a perfect example. so dont let it slide. start thinking bigger and do something. go for it.
As dumb as it sounds, the funny thing is that it kind of worked.
The next week I started working on a book, “Prayers For Blowouts”. This led to me starting a blog by the same name, which I ran for the next 18 months. During that time I realized how much I loved writing humor and began posting here every day with a reinvigorated voice. I made a bunch of connections, I guest-posted at Stuff Christians Like 6 times, I wrote more Burnside Articles, I created a Blog Yearbook, I wrote half of a memoir which publishers wanted no part of because I’m a nobody, I wrote an article for The Daily Beast, I’ve made connections with a couple agents, I’ve had articles accepted into two magazines, and I’ve started a podcast.
Should you be impressed? Not really.
Because here’s the thing. It’s not that I’ve done some great things (because I haven’t), it’s that I’ve done SOMETHING.
Donald Miller said on his blog the other day, “You can only change direction if you’re in motion”, and I believe that’s true. Sure, Prayers For Blowouts doesn’t exist anymore, but I don’t look at it as hundreds of wasted hours. I learned a lot in those 18 months and they led to me rediscovering a purpose for BryanAllain.com.
So if you’re feeling as frustrated as I was 3 years ago, do something…anything. Even if it means knowing full well that what you’re about to do is going to be crap. Record that first song, write those first few blog posts, pursue that business idea you have even though you’ve got so much to learn, get a book on writing screenplays and dig in, start doing research about going back to school, write the first page of your book, share some of your photography with the world, or let people know you’re interested in public speaking.
Or…maybe just write a motivational email to yourself that you can look back on whenever you need a jump start.
Whatever it is, you’ve got to start moving.
Ready, set, go.