In my coaching experience, while talking to aspiring writers who have a book in them, anxious to find a path forward, I often encounter a mysterious phenomenon. For a period, the idea percolated but there was not the sense of urgent drive that, suddenly, appeared, motiving the writer to act. That drive becomes too fierce to ignore and, though there is some sense of being overwhelmed, mystified at the process of starting the task, there is invariably joy and passion in the pursuit.
And then, there is a choice. To act, or to to wait for some time in the future, when execution of the task might be more convenient. In my experience, if one does not act when that passion is still fresh, it will wane. It might return, but likely will not. Why? I believe we signal something important to our psyche when we act. We tell it this is important, and so one’s inner resources, call them what you will, are activated, allowing a more forceful setting aside of distractions and doubts. We have the enthusiasm and intention to stay on the path. When we choose not to act, we send another message to ourselves, this is not important, and thus other priorities, various mundane activities get in the way. That’s why I like this quote so much.
When the impetus to write a book or produce a completed creative work arises, act on it or that passion vanishes. It’s sapped of its power, and power is needed to produce something of enduring value. If you have never heard Oliver read, here she is with a favorite of mine, Coleman Barks, famous for his popular and delightful interpretations of the Persian poet Rumi.