Henry Ford said, You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do. How many hopes and dreams die as people get mired in the thinking, the planning, the worries over the“what if” and the dreaded“shoulds?” We often pay life’s most important things last. Inactivity is a dream killer. A silent assassin who sneaks up in the dark and slices the throat. The injury never proves a quick death. A small nick of the artery that provides a front row seat to observe the slow trickle of draining passion.We hold the wound until the twilight of our life, that puddle now a lake of spent dreams as we lament, “I thought I’d have more time.”
Action is creation. A verb that suggest growth. The evidence is all around—In nature and in youth—every thing is growing. Too often we turn our lives into nouns. Stagnant, unchanging aspects that suggest an arrival when in fact there is no destination…only a journey. But “inaction” is a comfortable thing. It seduces us with promises and it renders us helpless with fear. Fear that change means loss. Fear that failure means the end. Lies that there are no do-overs. “You only get one shot. Are you certain you’re ready?” “No” is the easy answer. “I’ll wait until later” the comforting promise.
It’s fitting that such a topic falls on my birthday. For there was a time when the most common description of me was “he has a lot of potential.” I lived on the “potential.” Potential is that thing not in action. Then I awoke one day with a new son, half a college degree, and the comfort of being the smartest guy in entry-level jobs. But I saw tomorrow in a baby. I saw myself explaining the importance of the education I didn’t finish, of chasing dreams I hadn’t chased, of suggesting a better life I never reached for…and I was never more afraid than when I saw potential as the past instead of the future.
In my DNA, like everyone’s, was the need, the desire for action. To grow, to be more, do more, to be the best me I could be. So I got moving—I got into action. I decided I would rather fail than fail to try. I would rather find I had no potential than have wasted the gifts I might have. I would rather tell my son that I tried and failed than tell him I was too afraid to try at all. There is no failure except the failure to act.
Writer is a verb. It’s not a noun. We are writers when in the action of writing. And since action worked so well for my life I decided it was good for my characters too. And it has been so far. One can criticize my work for many things, but never on one quality—pace. I only write page turners. I only give the reader a few moments to take a breath. That’s how I live my life so that’s how I write my books.
Action isn’t about being busy. It’s about having a dream and pursuing it with passion. Being a writer was only one of many dreams. Many I have achieved and many are still yet to be fulfilled. And when my twilight comes I may lament things, but I’ll never whisper “I wish I had tried…”
Categories: A to Z Blog Challenge