If you haven’t read Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed yet, please stop what you’re doing and get it immediately. I dare you not to devour it. I also dare you not to cry at least twice while reading it.
I fell in love with Strayed’s work when she was anonymously writing the Dear Sugar column for therumpus.net, a selection of which was republished as Tiny Beautiful Things. Then Oprah called. (Her. Not me. Yet.)
Last year, I took a one-day writing workshop with Cheryl and 100 other people. It was amazing. At one point, she was talking about uncertainty, about how to keep going when you don’t know how, when you aren’t sure of the outcome, about how to take that step when the deck is stacked against you: she said that you have to say a prayer to the god of doing it anyway.
You have to take a deep breath and go for it even though you have no idea how it will all turn out.
You have to find that teeny bit of faith so that you can take the very next step.
You have to do whatever it takes to start writing on the blank page or painting on the blank canvas. To hit publish on the very first blog post or put your pen down on the very first page of the blank sketchbook you’ve had for years.
I say a prayer to the gods of doing it anyway every single day. When I make an ask for a podcast interview, I hope that the person doesn’t think I’m nuts. When I record the interview, I take a deep breath and hope that I don’t have any awkward pauses or lost trains of thought. When I publish the episode, I hope that you all don’t think I’m nuts and am wasting your time.
When I launched 100 Rejection Letters, a program that I invested all of my time, money, and energy into for months, I said a prayer to the gods of doing it anyway that it would work, that people would get excited about the project, that people would say yes to their own crazyfaith, to their own creative work, to committing to going all in and seeing what happened.
Both of those projects are going better than I ever could have imagined. And I’m still praying to the gods of doing it anyway.
You rarely ever feel ready to start. You have to start anyway. Before you feel ready. Before you have it all figured out. Before you know how the story or blog post or poem ends.
You will figure it out. You really will. And it will turn out better than you ever could have imagined.
Are you willing to give it a try, take a deep breath, say a prayer to the gods, and go? (I dare you.)
PS. Registration for 100 Rejection Letters closes today. There are a dozen bonus kits left. Get yours and let’s go.
**graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching