I think I can get these guys to line up … sometime.
I think you know already, I’m a planner. The whole idea of getting started before I’m ready sounds so, well, counterproductive.
I like to make sure all the duckies are lined up before I pull the trigger.
In ny case, though, the duckies are usually hanging out on the street corner. Shooting craps. Smoking cigarettes. Whistling at the girls.
Such is my life, I figure. Do you think I’m pulling the trigger when those ducks won’t work with me here?
Hey, where can I get a little cooperation around this joint?
But here’s the thing. The duckies never line up. Never could get them to do it. They all have the ADHD real bad.
Such is real life. Yours too, I’ll bet. Conditions are never going to be perfect.
Since they’re never going to be perfect, nothing’s going to get done either.
Doin’ it like the big dogs
I read a piece in BrazenLIfe about Richard Branson (that’s Sir Richard Branson to you and me), and he likes to fire before he’s ready.
He’s got an interesting story. He started a small magazine when he dropped out of high school. He started a record company when he clearly had no clue what he was doing, but he signed some acts that just weren’t ready for prime time.
Maybe he was too goofy to know he wasn’t supposed to be ready to run a recording company.
He wanted to get to the Virgin Islands real quick (something about a girl) and his flight got canceled, so he chartered a plane.
Except he couldn’t afford it.
So he sold tickets to others from that same aborted flight, offered to fly them to the islands for $29 per head. Even came up with a name for his instant company and put it on a handwritten sign: Virgin Airlines.
That’s how Virgin Airlines was born. Oh, yes … he managed to raise enough money to pay for his own trip.
Did he know anything about running an airline? No. He wasn’t ready for that either.
Here’s what writer James Clear said about Branson’s modus operandi:
“… Branson doesn’t merely say things like, “Screw it, just get on and do it.” He actually lives his life that way. He drops out of school and starts a business. He signs the Sex Pistols to his record label when everyone else says they’re too controversial. He charters a plane when he doesn’t have the money …”
That’s the stuff of legend. Of course he wasn’t ready for any of this. The ducks wouldn’t line up. He just went ahead and did his thing without them.
No time, no tools, just not ready
So here I am feeling sorry for myself. If I don’t have my go-to piece of software, the right kind of stationery or my favorite black-lacquer-finished Cross fountain pen loaded with black Parker ink, I just can’t write.
If I don’t have the right degree or certification I can’t do my work.
If I don’t have an uninterrupted block of time when no one calls or texts, when the cat is in a coma, when the coffee is the right strength and temperature, and when my computer is where I always keep it (one-eighth of an inch tolerance allowed because I’m generous) my day is shot.
Or so I believe.
So I very conveniently forgot I managed to crash the news industry without the required degree. Never mind the fact that for a decade I’ve fooled editors in five states into thinking I can actually do the job even though I wasn’t near ready.
But I forgot all that, see, and still think I need to be ready in order to do stuff.
I’m accountability partner to another writer who thought the same way. He had a really intense fulltime job until health problems forced him to leave. After he retired he didn’t have the technique, the equipment, even the story. He wasn’t ready.
Now he’s writing, getting a page or more down every day.
He’s still not ready.
Does anybody care?
Not him, apparently.
I’m doing that thing I’m doing, writing 1,000 words a day, editing my fifth self-pubbed book.
I’m still not ready.
The ducks are still playing stickball when they should be lining up for me. So I’m not ready.
Reckon I never will be ready.
Guess that means it’s a good time to start.
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What say you? Are you ready yet? Does it even matter? Please tell your story in the comments.