As soon as I put it out there that I want to be a writer, and I am going to make a serious attempt and making a living writing, the enemy starts trying to convince me what a terrible idea it is.
Can I seriously believe that I can replace my job income with a writing income? Based on my current writing income, it seems like an impossible task.
In order to earn a decent living writing, I would have to be a fairly successful writer. This means, people would actually have to pay money to read my words, advertisers would have to pay money to put their ads on my site (assuming I had a site on which to put ads), someone would have to pay a bookstore to take my book home with them (assuming I had a book to publish), and/or someone would have to pay money for me to write for them.
Why would people pay for my words when there are so many other people out there doing the same thing I am?
That’s a very concerning question. There are, in fact, a crap ton of people out there writing (seriously, do the research, you’ll come to the same conclusion – crap ton). However, there are also a crap ton of kids out there playing baseball in the hopes that one day, someone would pay money to see them play.
Ask any 8 year old if this would stop them from playing baseball and I suspect very few of them would drop their glove and give up the game for good. In fact, my 7 year old son is quite certain he can lead a worship band, be an actor and scientist. The idea that there are so many other people out there trying to lead worship bands, be an actor, and be a scientist would never deter him from his dream. To his benefit, I’m guessing there aren’t many people out there trying to do all 3 of those things together so he may have found a special niche.
At some point, most little boys stop dreaming of playing major league baseball. But not all little boys. There are a few who catch that dream, and never let it go. They put in the practice. Coaches tell them to give up. They practice more. They get cut from teams. They practice more. They get benched. They practice more. They become starting pitchers. They practice more. They get a college scholarship. They practice more. You get the idea.
Regardless of the day to day results, their focus and determination never die. Sure, they will go through periods of life when their belief is not 100%, but when they lie down at night, they still dream about playing in the big show.
Writing is the one dream I’ve had since I was a child. It’s the one thing that’s always been in the back of my head that I would do, someday. It’s also the one thing I keep talking myself out of doing.
Why do we do that? Why do we talk ourselves out of what we know we are meant to do?
Aside from breathing life into us, and providing a way for each of us to have eternal life, one of the greatest gifts God gave us was the gift of choice.
God promised that we would always have free will – that is, the ability to choose for ourselves how we live our life. There are times when I wish I could flip a switch. There are days when I would gladly give up the ability to choose in favor of being some kind of God-bot (that’s a robot made by God) that only did God’s will. There are religions out there that have forced people to live life a certain way. There are lists of laws and regulations that religious leaders claim would make people righteous. There are government that command its citizens do what’s best for the country instead of what is best for the individual. But at the end of the day, though it might cost us our life, we have the ability (and the responsibility) to choose to do one thing, or another.
If you had unlimited time and resources, how much different would your life look? Would you still do all the same things you did today?
Or, if you knew there was no chance of failure, what would you do?
I think fear is the opposite of free will. I think the enemy uses fear to keep us feeling like we are backed into a corner, with limited options and few choices. It’s fear that kept me in a cubicle for so long. It’s fear that binds us from living the life we were intended to live. It’s fear that keeps us from reaching our promise land.
Am I saying I have conquered fear and have the secret to living the life of my dreams? No. If I did, I’d be working on the book, associated training sessions, and DVD series that would make millions. You’d lie awake at night watching my infomercials and try to figure out exactly which kind of crazy I am.
Instead, I have the opportunity in front of me to make choices that will lead me in the direction of my dream life. I have the chance to make choices that will keep me from going down the same familiar roads I’ve gone down so many times before.
I think we all have those choices in front of us. So ask yourself, what fears are keeping you down, and what choices could you make today to move closer to the life you were meant to live?
I’ve got plenty more to say on this topic, and even more to learn.
What do you think holds people back from living out their ideal life?