“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
A few years ago, I started writing again.
I badly needed it. It was the time when I was really bored with my life, and I needed something to just let out what I feel and think. I switched from working in the media (TV) to the corporate world to have more focus in my life, to finally have time to live it.
I am not saying that being a corporate worker is cool. It’s just that at least now I have time, unlike when I was working on TV when all my life was just focused on one thing, work.
But now, working 9 to 5 has a bad side of it, it bores me a lot.
In a way, I am glad that I’ve finally be able to enjoy and savor life. But still, I felt like there’s something missing.
I’ve been writing since I was in school. I was an editor of our paper then. When I started working for TV, I was a writer and producer. I was writing because it was my job. But by the time when I switched to a job that didn’t require me to write, I stopped, which I think was really a bad move.
So I started again. For the first time, I have finally written something not because it’s a job, but because I just simply love doing it.
I wrote practically everything, from personal stuff to local politics, anything that interests me or stirs my mind. I wrote relentlessly even though I knew no one would read it.
Then one day, my boss told me something in one of our coaching sessions. She said, she’s planning to have a weekly newsletter, to highlight all the initiatives and happenings in our teams. It will be shared to all employees and she’s asking me to do it. All of it. She even gave me the freedom to do whatever I want with the newsletter.
I asked her, “why me?” And I was blown away with her reply. “I majored in Psychology, I just knew you can do it.”
I decided to make the newsletter creatively different. Every week, I infuse some valuable ideas and principles together with the remarkable stories of my colleagues. It has become an inspirational and positive resource of information for all employees.
After sending the third issue, my boss received an email from the top executives of the company saying that they really liked it, and even encouraged everyone to take time to read it. I was a pleasant surprise!
It was also a validation not only for me to continue doing what I do, but also to finally realize that I can actually do something that is worth reading.
Practice. Do what you Love without any expectation.
The thing is, if I did not go back to writing a few months before that, I would have never been able to successfully do the weekly newsletter.
If I did not prepare myself by writing anything under the sun, I would not have the slightest confidence to accept that big responsibility.
Yes I was lucky because my boss chose me for the project but If I wasn’t prepared for it, I wouldn’t have done it.
Oprah Winfrey once said that “luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been ‘lucky.”
So this is a wake up call to all of us to just keep moving. Practice your craft even without any logical reason. Just do it for the sheer love of it.
If you are a singer, sing every single day. Don’t just practice when you’re about to join a competition. Do it everyday, for the sake of love. Be prepared, because you’ll never know when that big break will come.
If you want to be a writer, just write. You may start a blog for you to have a platform of your ideas. For me having a blog is deeply special. It keeps me sane and focused on my personal goals. It just makes me feel alive.
Doing what you love, and working on your craft is not easy. It takes a lot of hardwork, sacrifice, time and effort.
There are times when you’ll start asking if this is worth it. If all your sacrifice will someday pay off. But keep moving forward, and practice your craft. Whatever it is!
My favorite writer, Jeff Goins, once wrote that if you need to accept a crappy job that doesn’t pay just for you to practice your craft, accept it. Do it! The experience that you’re going to get is more valuable than anything else.
Don’t give up just because of simple inconvenience. Someday, you’ll realize that the hardwork that you do today practicing, will eventually make sense to you.
As a saying goes, “When you’re not practicing, someone else is and when you meet him, he’ll win.” This is not just for athletes. It’s for all of us, who dream of creating something valuable to the world.
If you want to improve and be the best. You got to practice now. Focus on your goals and work hard on it.
Let me leave you with this important quote for you to ponder on. Derek Sivers said this when he delivered a speech at Berklee School of Music:
“Be one of the few who stays in the shed to practice, while everyone else is busy surfing the net, flirting online and watching TV.”
Photo by Emilien ETIENNE