There have been a few times over the course of my life where I recall a very specific "call" that resonated in my gut. During those moments, there was a sort of inexplicable tingle. A premonition of sorts that feels as if it's coming from God Himself. Each time I've felt that tingle, I became quiet and meditated on it's meaning.
I took action.
My husband describes me with the phrase: Ready, Fire, Aim. When he first pointed this out (not critically, by the way), I latched onto it. I'd never heard a truer phrase to describe my methods. I starting telling everyone I was "Ready, Fire, Aim," adding the catchphrase "Sloppy, but effective!"
And you know what? It is effective.
Even though I'm not sure where my "firing" will lead, I pick a direction and go that way.
The end result works out 100% of the time!
Ha ha. Whatever.
Gut calls are not without their risks. I've won. I've lost. There is no silver bullet--no secret to getting it all right all the time. But the key lies in the doing.
As a published author, I often get asked by aspiring authors how to proceed or what to do next. "How long does it take to write a book? How do I write a book? How do I get published???" The answer is so simple, it brings a smile to the mouths of published authors far and wide. You just... write.
I don't mean that in a condescending way. Truly, the best way to learn how to write is to open a Word document (or a Pages document, or a steno pad) and just let the shit fly. During the process of writing what is likely a horrible first draft of your memoirs, or paranormal fiction, or whodunit novel, then go research some stuff. But don't do it first or you'll forever be lost in the swirling sands of the desert, trudging to destinations unknown.
Calls to action have sparked many changes in my life:
I quit a job after being offered a promotion to start a fledgling business
I chased the dream of becoming a published author
I started a blog about writing before I even knew how to write
On the way, I learned.
I learned how to write a book by writing and self-editing five novels over the course of two and a half years. I learned how to blog by blogging 2-5 times a week. In college, where I attained a graphic design degree, I learned how to start with a blank sheet of paper and end with a charcoal nude of a real-life figure model standing right in front of me.
Nothing is scarier than drawing thatfirst line. Where do you start?!
I'll let you in on a trade secret:
It doesn't matter where you start.
It only matters that you do.
Have you been called? Is there a nagging, niggling voice in the back of your mind shoving you toward something? Is that dream so big that you can't fathom where to start? Is that idea so blurry that you can't see what comes next?
Well, friends. Guess what? This website was also an unformed, blurry, distant idea.
A few weeks ago, it was three frantically scribbled pages of doodles, notes, and mission statements.
Yet here we are.