Never before in the history of the world have there been so many choices available to us to learn something new, from books, to seminars, webinars, podcasts, classes and, last but certainly not least, YouTube. You can go to school online, get a degree online, learn to fix your car, build a house, or rewire your computer. You can read all the how-to and self-help literature on the face of the planet, but at some point you have to stop reading and start doing.
I freely admit that I have spent the majority of my adult life “learning” how to write. From the time I was old enough to understand that there were not only great examples of good writing, but that there were also books on how to write, my library card became my best friend. As time went on, I traded my library card for classes, seminars, and progressed on up to Amazon, the holy temple of books. I had convinced myself that if I just read one more book, or took one more class, I would be able to write just as good as, if not better than, the pros. All I needed was that one more book.
It took a fractured hip and 8 weeks of what I came to call “house arrest,” aka “can’t leave the house until my doctor signed off on doing stairs,” to realize that no amount of reading was going to substitute for planting my butt in the chair and getting it done. One more book wasn’t going to boost my confidence any higher, nor would it give up the real, true secret to successful writing. Only actually writing would do that.
How often in our lives do we put off doing what we deeply and sincerely dream of doing because we doubt ourselves? We take out that cape of “not good enough” and wear it like a king’s robe. There’s nothing wrong with learning something new. I’d be lying if I said I was not an ardent supporter of life-long learning, but not if it keeps you from actually living. To this day, whenever something peaks my interest, I hop on Google and learn all I can about it. That’s how I came to learn all about cooking and eating a vegan diet. That’s how I learned how to set up a blog page. That’s how I found a neat pattern for a crocheted tote bag. The difference is that I didn’t just keep reading about these things. I did them. I cook vegan every day. I set up my blog pages. I crocheted the bag. I wrote, and I keep on writing, every day, even if it’s only for an hour. We do not only learn by studying, we learn by doing. The time always comes when you have to put down the book and start living.
This week for our assignment over on the Home Page, we will put a pen to paper (or fingers to keys), and talk about doing vs learning. This is an opportunity to take that leap of faith. As always, have loads of fun with this and remember to always, always, keep writing.
Peace and blessings.