I don’t know why, but when you become a published author you become a magnet for wannabe writers. It’s uncanny, really. People walk up to me all the time and tell me that they’re going to write a book someday. And an astonishing number of these people have little education, no discernible expertise, and a life story that’s so boring it would make watching grass grow seem like a trip to the circus.
I’ve never done it because it would be cruel, but there have been times when I’ve wanted to say, “No, you’re not going to write a book. You’re going to talk about writing a book your whole life, but you’re never going to write one. You know how I know? Because people who write books never go around telling people they’re going to write a book. They just shut up and write. They close themselves up in a room and torture themselves for hundreds and hundreds of hours and, if they’re lucky, they come stumbling out half dead carrying a manuscript. But the one thing real writers never do is go around telling people they’re going to write a book.”
(Boy, it felt good to write that paragraph!)
Some people talk and other people do. Sadly, the world has more talkers in it than doers.
I don’t want to hear one of my delinquent church members tell me at the grocery store that he’s going to get back into church, I just want to see him show up on a Sunday morning.
I don’t want to hear a workaholic husband tell me he’s going to start spending more time with his wife and kids, I just want to see him shut off his cell phone and take his family to the beach.
I don’t want to hear a college dropout tell me he’s going to go back and finish his degree, I just want to see him with his nose in a textbook.
Talk is cheap. Everybody knows it. The most meaningless four words in the English language are, “Someday I’m going to…”
What noble thing have you been saying you’re going to do someday? I plead with you to stop saying it and just do it.