You Start by Starting

(or) There’s No Such Thing as Writer’s Block 

“The one path that never works is the most common one: doing nothing at all. Nothing at all feels safe and it takes very little effort. It involves a lot of rationalization and a bit of hiding as well.”

  –Seth Godin, author of Tribes

I’m grateful that my cousin, Jason, is not only a great friend but also a shrewd thinker. When I have an important decision to make, especially about business, you might be surprised that he usually responds with indifference. While that frustrated me at first, I now see his point. Most MBAs (including me) get so caught up in scrutiny that it seems the term “paralysis of analysis” was invented just for us. That’s why Jason advises me just to go with my first instinct, move forward, and stay open to change.

I heard a writer say that there’s no such thing as writer’s block. He said it’s simply a fear of not being perfect. Seth Godin might add: “We hesitate to create because we’re worried, deep down, that someone will hate it and call us on it.” Rather than obsess about being perfect, I jumped into this blog and posted 7 columns in 3 weeks. No business plan. No consultants. No market research. I didn’t even have a (gasp) twitter account. But I do now: @gregdinkin.

Since I started my blog, I changed my subtitle from “Making Choices to Optimize Life” to “Your Health and Success Coach.” Halfway through the book Tribes, I changed it to Optimize Thrive Actualize. I’m sure I’ll change it again…maybe a dozen times. But what I won’t do is stop writing and posting until I have everything figured out. Because I know that day will never come.

When you wait to act, you miss the chance to express yourself and you miss the chance to impact others. In my ten years as a literary agent, every writer who wanted to copyright their idea, title or proposal before sharing it had one thing in common: none of them ever wrote a book. They were using the copyright as an excuse not to act due to their fear of imperfection or rejection. It’s a shame to think about what the world missed out on while these authors were hiding behind fear.

You don’t need to re-decorate your home or build a new studio to paint. You don’t need to spend a grand at Lululemon to start exercising again. You don’t need a PhD before you can offer an empathetic ear to your friends. You also don’t need one cent or more than five minutes to start a blog. All you need is to tap into your genuine desire and move in that direction.

This is a call to action to start on what’s important to you.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. If I won the lottery for $50 million, how would I be living my life?
  2. What does an ideal day look like? What’s missing from that day now?
  3. What action can I take today that will move me in the direction of my dreams?
  4. How do I feel when I’m stuck? How will I feel if I stay stuck?
  5. How will I feel when I begin to take action?

It’s time to act on what’s important to you now—before you have everything figured out. Had I waited, you wouldn’t be reading right now how you start by starting.


You! Share a story about how diving into something led you down an important path.

Conversely, there are instances when there is good reason to analyze before diving in. That’s the subject of:  “Sometimes You Only Get One Chance to Kiss the Pig” (or) “You Start by Scrutinizing.”

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