Sunday, 28 July 2013

Thinking it and Doing it

Having crossed the scary bridge on Sark. (Picture Roger Hyland)

Thinking it and doing it are two very different activities.  Thinking it is fun.  Doing it is graft. Why is there such a big gap between imagination and action and why is that bridge so hard to cross?
I love learning.  Learning new stuff is exciting, a voyage of discovery.  Then there’s putting into practice the things you’ve learned.  That’s harder.  In some cases we never make that transition from learning it to doing it. 

So why is that?  Is it laziness?  Why am I stopping myself from doing the things I tell myself I want to do?

When I was a child I decided to be a writer.  And I just kept writing, so I was a writer. I worked hard.  I kept going. Eventually,  I became a published author.  Why can’t I transfer this determination to other things I want to do? 

I gave up singing because I never practiced enough between lessons, but I still fantasised about singing in concerts and shows, pictured myself standing there and wowing the crowd.  Ha!  Recently I had a lesson after a 20 year gap.  I loved it and got a real buzz, and I’ve started to think about all the songs I want to do but have I practised?  I think you know the answer. 

Today I went for a run.  I’m making exceedingly slow progress considering I took it up over a year ago.  I frustrate myself with my lack of willpower, still picturing a future me with a svelte frame and bags of energy.  The health benefits should be motivation enough.

It’s not that I don’t run, or never practised at all.  I’m inconsistent with my efforts and all too easily make excuses for myself.

So, back to the writing.  Well, now I apply the same lack of consistency to this, too.  Marketing is fun.  Blogging, part of the marketing, is also fun.  Writing a novel is hard work. I compare writing a novel to building a house.  Laying the foundations, stacking the bricks – that’s hard slog.  But decorating the house – that’s the fun part.  Like promoting the novel.  It’s great to play with categories and tinker with search keywords, and experiment with social media.  More fun than laying bricks.

I’m not playing down the importance of marketing – I love marketing and it’s been my job for over 25 years.  I just find it easier than writing a novel.  That’s how I see it. 

Do you prefer building your house or decorating it?

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  1. And that's why you should market other people's novels ;)


    1. Thanks, Vikki! Actually, amazingly, I have finally managed, over the course of 3 days, to complete the first 3 chapters of my next pony book! Gasp!