I’ve been worrying a lot recently, mainly about stupid stuff. Some of the things that have been invading my brain are: What if I never make it in my career? What if I end up not even liking my career? What if I never finish a decent novel? What if I never make it as a writer and no one ever gets to read my ideas? What if I get so busy in the next few years that I never got to practice violin and I completely forget how to play, even after having taken lessons for over ten years?
The latter is a legitimate problem (though I practiced for half an hour yesterday—not as much as is ideal, but I figure it’s better than nothing!), but the other worries on my list may be silly. You see, while bored at work last week, I read some posts on LinkedIn (because that’s what we ultra-cool bankers do in our spare time) and I found this one, by James Altucher, called Can You Do One Page A Day?. I think the link will work if you aren’t logged in to LinkedIn, but I’ll post excerpts anyway because it really resonated with me.
When I started a novel when I was younger, I wanted to finish it the next day. When I start a business, I want to sell it a day later. Count the riches.
When I started graduate school, I was already planning how I was going to be the fastest PhD in history.
Around the time that I had initially planned on receiving that Phd , I ended up getting thrown out. “Lack of maturity,” the letter said.
He goes on to talk about the guy who invented Pringles (I never thought of someone actually sitting down and inventing those, but it makes sense that something like that happened). After he got rich from his invention, he didn’t just sit around doing nothing.
He writes a page a day. A page is about 300 words. A paragraph or two. Can you do that? 25,000 pages. About 80 books worth of pages.
Gene [the Pringles inventor] ended up writing 50 published novels, including many bestsellers and award-winners.
He didn’t get stereotyped and stuffed into that Pringles can. As dead as the chips he created.
He did what he loved to do. That’s what keeps you alive every day. That’s The Push.
Anyway, that’s the gist of the post. It makes me feel slightly better. I’m an impatient person overall and when I’m writing, I want the novel I’m working on to be done yesterday. I usually write between 500 and 1,000 words a day, which means the progress can feel slow sometimes. I know I’ll eventually finish if I keep at it, but sometimes, it’s just so hard to keep going.
Now please excuse me while I go plan the book I’ll be working on for NaNoWriMo in November.