Roller Skates, Falls and Writing
When I was about 6 years old I got my very first roller skates. To be honest I don’t even remember where they came from, but they were very…
When I was about 6 years old I got my very first roller skates. To be honest I don’t even remember where they came from, but they were very classy for the Soviet times. The skates were from those you attach to your shoes, with red leather upper side and laces… they had 4 rubber wheels each. Two in front and two in the back. Oh and the size was adjustable, so I could use them like forever… or until they broke or something.
After getting the skates and feeling super happy I had to learn skating. It was winter and it was snowing outside…
I was even more impatient than I am now. And people who know me well will tell you that I am one of the most impatient people they have ever met.
So what did I do?
No, I did not go outside — because those who know me well will also tell you that I absolutely and intensely hate cold.
So I decided to make my first tries on our living room carpet.
Every day I was putting the skates on and trying to move without falling. As you can imagine there were many falls… I fell on the soft carpet and immediate stood up and tried again. I don’t remember how long did it take until I mastered that thing, but by the time we went out with my dad I could maneuver my skates like a pro…
Why am I telling about something that happened 30 years ago and what does it have to do with writing you might ask…
Well, although it is not so obvious but in fact it does. I can link it to writing, to entrepreneurship and anything else that requires the right mindset.
The thing is, when I got those shiny skates I did not think that I can’t skate. When I was falling on the carpet over and over again it never occurred to me that I will not be able to learn. I did not even consider giving up. It was not an option I would choose because I never even thought that it could be one of the options.
So what happens to us when we grow up? Why do we start getting all those negative thoughts triggered in our mind?
Why every time we write something we keep thinking that it is not good enough? Why do we have so many doubts about sharing our writings with the world?
How come our 6 years old self is so much stronger? How come she keeps standing up after every fall until she reaches the point when she doesn’t fall anymore and we, instead close up and stop writing after getting a negative feedback?
Back then I did not spend hours on that carpet because I wanted others to admire when they saw me skating outside, no. I did that because I wanted to skate. I wanted to be one of the people who can do that, that’s all.
So why do you write? You write because you want to sell your books, or you write because you want to be a writer?
Do you think about giving up, because you lack encouragement and inspiration? Do you think you can’t succeed because you have only 2 readers and one of them is your mom?
I’ve told this many times already… But I think it’s worth repeating again. If you are writing and creating a story with your words then you are a writer. It doesn’t matter if what you’ve written is liked by others or not. It doesn’t matter if 2 people read you or hundred… What matters is that you have created a brand new story, from scratch with your words. You have come up with a piece of writing which was not out there before…
Just like my first tries in the living room, your stories too will not be perfect. Some of them will even be terrible. So what? Do you have to conclude that you can’t write just because your first story is not a masterpiece? Who’s first story was?
Just like my 6 years old me you have to practice too. You have to write, erase, tear up the paper and start all over again. With each try things will go smoother. With each next try you will enjoy it more… and your each new version will sound better and the story will be stronger.
All those things you are longing for now — the readers, the fans, the book sales, your name on the bestseller’s cover… it all will come with the time.
It will… but ONLY if you don’t give up and start over after each thorn paper and each erased paragraph or deleted document.
I am sure you have your own examples of your 6 year old strong self. Recall those, admire your little self and try to be like that strong will child.
So next time you feel discouraged, you feel down or feel like giving up — re-think again, get back your positive mindset and try again. Or write me a message and I’ll cheer you up!
Originally published at www.anialexander.com on February 23, 2015.