You can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. You can’t catch a fish unless you put your line in the water. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t try.Kathy Seligman
Have you ever attempted to do something that you were certain you would not succeed at, and you did, in spite of yourself? This was where I found myself six weeks ago, musing about the fact that I had entered my name to participate in the flash fiction event, Flash Nano 2020. Even more amazing was the fact that I actually completed it. 30 prompts = 30 flash fiction stories. Whoa!!
I realize that for many writers, November is the month of National Novel writing contests and events but the flash fiction genre has captured my heart and mind for the past year so when I learned about Flash Nano, it made sense to at least try it. I must admit self-doubt almost prevented me from even signing up so upon reflection that is likely the first lesson that I need to pay the most attention to. It is all too easy to talk yourself out of things rather than into them.
Once that negative self talk is corralled, then we need to battle with procrastination and inertia. There are likely many great reasons why we don’t accomplish certain things but there are equally as many that speak to us about why we should. Pushing through procrastination is really about pushing past our fears. For this event, I had no one but myself to account to. I did mention I was doing this writing practice to my writer’s group but they would have all understood and likely been supportive if I had come up with some credible excuse as to why I decided not to follow through.
But the lesson of moving forward despite that fear, has value that carries over to other areas of our lives as well. This was an activity that I chose partially in an effort to try to incorporate discipline into my writing life, to learn to push barriers aside, and to learn the craft of the genre that I am writing in. Writer’s are solitary creatures but when we gather there is often a shared sense of connection. That’s why we gather, right.
Satisfaction. Personal accomplishment. Goal achievement. All these outcomes from this particular activity also served as teachings, lessons learned, and opportunity to develop confidence to push forward. An opportunity to create, to write, to reflect, to engage with other writers. It was truly win win. When we decide to set out to achieve something, there is tremendous value in seeing a project through to the end. And if you can do it once, then I am convinced that the next time will be just a little bit easier.
Now I just need to figure out what is going to be next…Take a moment to celebrate all of the goals you meet regardless of how big or small. We all deserve that quiet moment to reflect on our accomplishments and to experience the joy of completion.
Stay healthy and safe!