Getting Ready to Work is Not Working

This morning, it was time for me to write. I’d made up my mind last night. I’d decided, in fact I’d even declared my decision out loud. I’d gone so far as to clear space in my calendar for this writing time.

“I’ve drifted too far away from regular writing,” I’ve been saying to myself.

“It’s been too sporadic, and maybe even uninspired.”

“I’m getting distracted by business-y things and losing touch with my art.”

And then the killer, “How can I ever write a book if I can’t even write a decent blog post with consistency?”

“So this is it. I’ll start writing tomorrow. In fact, I think I’ll write every day! I’ll rearrange my morning routine so that nothing gets in my way – before I’ve even poured a cup of coffee, I will be w-r-i-t-i-n-g. Just imagine the possibilities.”

By this point in my inner dialogue, my brain is buzzing with enthusiasm and resolve and I can practically see the words pouring onto the page and feel the relief coursing through my veins.

And then morning dawns.

And I begin. But I don’t begin to write. I begin to “get ready to write.” Because how can you write when there are things left undone around you?


Today, getting ready involved:

– Making the beds
– Sweeping the kitchen floor (can’t write with crumbs, can we?)
– Making coffee (because, please)
– Filing a few errant papers that were on my desk
– Answering emails (EMAILS! I mean, seriously.)
– Making toast
– Putting lotion on my legs
– Checking the weather forecast for tomorrow
– Googling the merits of the writing app Scrivener
– Cleaning the bathroom vanity and mirror

And finally, with a paper towel in one hand and Windex in the other, the reality of my morning thus far hit me like a ton of bricks. It was clear that if I kept getting ready to write, I would never write.

They’re not the same thing.  Just like:

  • Buying workout clothes and a running watch is not exercise.
  • Sharpening your knives and tearing recipes out of a magazine is not cooking.
  • Getting the piano tuned and arranging the sheet music is not playing.
  • Buying a Day Planner and a new set of Sharpies is not getting organized.
  • Talking about your passions and poring through Linked In is not getting a job.

Getting ready to work is NOT the same as working.

And here’s the issue. While the preparations can be rewarding in their own right, the real magic only happens when we take action. In fact, God Himself conspires with us when we act. You’ve likely seen it happen in your own life – the universe rising up to deliver exactly what you needed once you showed that you were serious. And how do you show that you’re serious? By taking action.

You know what you need to do – that thing that is calling out to you and practically begging to be done. So go do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t need the right gear, or more training, or even a sparkling bathroom vanity.

Just begin. And watch the magic happen.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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