When I write a post or sign an autograph, I sign
This is not a gimmick. It is not by happenstance. It is an intentional act. It is a declarative to you and to me. It is my credo.
Creation begins at First Light. This is the moment of conception, the moment when an idea that has been floating around in the back of your head gains enough substance to fill you with unparalleled joy. Whatever the idea or concept is, it becomes the best idea ever. Sure, it’s been done by countless others before you, but your version is far better than all the others. Your concept is awe-inspiring. It causes you to make a proclamation to, at least, yourself but possibly to others as well.
First Light is engaging, exciting, and energetic.
The moment that the idea that caused First Light is spoken, life, external from your mind, is breathed into your idea. This is when the second phase begins. What was once the most perfect idea or concept needs conceptualization. You have to brainstorm to flesh out your thoughts.
Sure, I may have known what I wanted to write about for my first book, but I did not have all of the characters, the settings, and the backstories visualized. I did not know if anyone would ever read it. I did not know how to market it.
The idea felt harder than I had dreamed at First Light. Rather than give up, the third phase began: research. I plotted out names and locations. I thought about publishing houses. And, I thought about self-publishing. I thought about paperback versus hardback versus ebook. I still contemplate audio books. I read blogs. Then, each answered question begot ten more questions. There were lists upon lists upon lists of things to do and things to research.
I had thought and planned the logistics of the idea, and, in doing so, I was removed from the idea itself. Suddenly, the great idea required more work than I had expected, but the idea was still so wonderful that I pushed on.
That’s when the fourth step hits you. I was worn down. I wanted to create this wonderful idea, this wonderful concept, but I wasn’t. Instead, I was working on the preparations for the idea. I was making space for the creation, buying new equipment, determining when I was going to work.
Then, it hit me. I hadn’t worked on the idea. I’d spent weeks working on how to start working on the idea. And, I was over it. My faith had waned. I wanted to quit before I had even started, so I started to share with the same people who found out at First Light about the idea, that I was done. My friends remembered my enthusiasm. They were proud to see that joy in me. So, they convinced me to carry on. They told me to just get started and it would all work out.
Just Do It
So, I did – halfheartedly. I started. I plugged away. I told myself that it was a good learning experience. I said that it would be good for me. It didn’t matter if no one ever read it. I said to myself that I’d be proud to finish it. Every time, I had doubt I said Onward.
So, I worked. I worked and worked and worked. I wasn’t sure what the next step was, but the idea had taken off. The idea had momentum and a mind of its own. I’d lost the ability to stop. This is the final step – I was doing it. Despite all of the qualms and fears, I was writing my novel and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. It wasn’t Morrison, but it wasn’t bad. And, I was proud.
Any act of creation requires hard work and persistence. Whether you are writing a book or starting a side hustle. Joy is met with reality. Typically, reality defeats joy. But, if the idea is to win, if it is to succeed, then the creator must not quit on herself or the idea.
What I learned during my process is to keep writing, to keep aiming to my First Light. There were doubts along the path to the creation of that first book – and each creative action thereafter. But, in those moments when I want to quit, I press onward. Onward to progress. Onward to success.
Now, onward exists as my credo. In one word, for me, it represents my track for living a life of meaning. Onward is to let the future pull me with excitement along a path of unlimited possibilities waiting to be experienced.
And, so, now I wish it for you as I wish it for myself.