Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negros, was interviewed by the Globe & Mail recently. The interview was edited by Courtney Shea. He said something about the act of writing as a career and it got me thinking that these wise words could be applied to pretty much anything we strive for in life.
"I remember being in my first few weeks on the job at The Winnipeg Free Press. I’d come in from an assignment and my editors were expecting the story in an hour or two. I was panicking and going through all the information I had scribbled down in my notes and this senior reporter came over and said, ‘Larry, for God’s sake, stop thinking, just write.’ I was nonplussed in the moment – it seemed the height of idiocy. But he was completely right. Today, I deal with writer’s block by trying to go fast and not to let my inhibitions and my critical mind take over the explosive creative mind. By going fast, you don’t allow that criticism to catch up, you just plow right over it and just keep on going, baby, and see where you get to. After you have a draft, you can go back and edit and change and cut and bring your intellect into it. There is an explosive, elemental aspect to writing that I try to capture in the first draft – just to let it rip and not worry about reactions. Going fast helps a great deal in terms of gaining access to your subconscious and just to let things come bubbling up."
Is it not always easier to "not" do something than it is to actually get on with it? Sometimes, it requires a "simple leap of faith" to take the plunge and make a decision... write a song, call a client, ask a girl/guy out on a date, try public speaking for the first time, try eating kale... you name it.
Soren Keirkegaard is credited for the idea of "leap of faith". It stems from his book Concluding Unscientific Postscript. There he posits "Thinking can turn toward itself in order to think about itself and skepticism can emerge. But this thinking about itself never accomplishes anything." Here here!
Therefore, if you're stuck and can't get on with it, your only productive alternative is to simply "do it!"