Part 3 of the “When In Doubt, Do Everything At Once” series on Taste Life Twice. See Part 1 and Part 2.
This series of “When In Doubt” posts will deal specifically with how to get happy when you feel like you’re drowning in more questions than answers. I have frequently been in dips like this, as you can see from many of my posts. Sometimes I work out a problem on the blog here with you, but often it is expressed in activity in another sphere. Here is where I’m showcasing those other activities, and how I deal with uncertainty every day.
So with traveling and decluttering behind us, what else have I been up to that helped me get through the long period of uncertainty? Writing: it’s what I do to keep myself from going crazy.
I wrote two novels.
Let me explain. This series is titled “When in Doubt,” but I haven’t fully explained the doubt piece. It’s one most of are probably experiencing right now:
Is this my life’s calling? Is this what I really want to do with my life?
It’s either an impossible question to answer, or an incredibly simple one. Impossible if you think there is one true answer; simple if you approach your life as a big experiment.
Let’s look at it the Experiment Way, which has helped shape the direction of Taste Life Twice over the past year. The new philosophy:
“Just try it, you might like it.”
This may sound like a familiar line from childhood, but I’m not talking about broccoli (ick) or brussels sprouts (yum) here. I’m talking about those activities you want to try, but there’s an inner voice telling you “Too risky” or “Too much effort.”
What is life but risk and effort?
So you might as well take the risk and make the effort for something you think is worthwhile to spend your life on.
That’s how I came to start writing a novel in February of 2011. I had an idea for an opening line, and instead of conveniently submerging (read: drowning) it in a hefty to-do list, I started.
I took Ann Lamott’s credo of The Shitty First Draft to heart and just kept going. I’d always wanted to be a writer; what was really stopping me? Just me.
So I kept at it, eventually telling a few people that I was writing a novel, and then even setting up accountability buddies that would keep me on task to finish.
Almost as important as starting.
September 30, 2012 I finished that S.F.D. and made the decision to jump into NaNoWriMo to keep the mojo going. This meant that for the month of November, I got up before 6 AM, cut out any guilty thoughts of jogging, and trained my laser focus on writing 1,800 words every morning before work in order to complete a novel (defined as 50,000 coherent words strung together).
Just like the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Race goal I’d set myself, I took to the challenge and felt invigorated by the sense of purpose it gave me, so lacking in other areas of my life. Now I’ve got two novels to edit!
Important Lessons to Draw from this Experience:
1) When In Doubt, Try It. You Might Like It.
Basically, if you feel called to do something, give it a shot, and make it your best shot. Otherwise, you’re spending your life on something you’ll regret. Don’t be that person! Embrace the life you are meant to live!
What have you always wanted to do or be, but didn’t think it was possible? I bet there is some way you could give it a trial run…