Writer habits- day 5: Prepare

Free fallStall out. Falling down towards the ground at a terminal velocity because there is not momentum, no thrust, no lift. The propellers aren’t moving. I’m still in the air, but only because I haven’t yet crashed and burned. I can call it flying, but really it’s just falling, just the result of gravity. No matter how frantically I jerk and pull and the levers and knobs, I can’t change the impending doom because I am not preparing to fly. I’ve just been stalling.

This has been me “writing”. Up till now, I have been waiting for the perfect idea, the right mood, for inspiration to strike, for some future time, some other day when I’m more ready. I have been talking about ideas, tweaking and tuning… but all the sound and fury in the world will not create a spark.

It’s easy to say, “I’m working on…” Preparation is often an excuse. So how do I tell the difference between preparation and procrastination? Easy: preparation leads to something to show. Procrastination leads to more projects I’m “working on”. There comes a time when no matter how hard it is, I have to set that ship a sailing. Lift off the runway. Ya, it’s not going to be perfect. Yes, it might not make it through the test run. It might spring 40 leaks. But, I have done the preparation so it’s time to send, publish, to ship the work instead of sitting on it, waiting for the perfect version to have a secret birth, stalling.

Truth is, every success and every failure is preparation for the next book, the next post, the next idea. Preparation is about closing your eyes, pulling the trigger, gunning the gas, and moving forward. Time to stop sitting on my eggs. Crack the shell, cook the bacon, brew the coffee; it’s prepare the omelet so I, you, they, we can enjoy, even as I’m dreaming about dinner.

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