You can catch me running on the trails in the greater Denver area. I’ll run past you, blasting an audiobook so loud that you’ll be able to hear the narration yourself for a few seconds. You might also see me sitting in a coffee shop, writing until my fingers go numb during a marathon two-hour writing session (marathon for me at least).
I’ve been horrible at updating this site in 2014—no excuses from me. Sure, I’ve been uber productive in exceeding my fiction word count goal to this point, but there’s still no excuse.
Free, Fast, and Fearless became my focus in 2014. Running trails is freeing. Writing books and stories—even more so at times. Things have been going fast too. I feel fast on the trails, and I write one thousand words in thirty-five minutes of writing. Fearless is writing one thousand words, not knowing if what you’re writing is
a steaming pile of shit not worth reading. Fearless is hanging in there the first three miles of a ten-mile run, enduring the pain (that everyone feels, believe it or not), in order to feel the euphoria that eventually comes out of finishing ten miles faster than you ever have.
Fear keeps us from doing the things we know we can. We set limits on our own abilities that are complete bullshit. I thought I couldn’t run a half marathon. Why? No idea. I never tried. We set limits on ourselves that we believe. They become real. Same goes for writing. I know most of the people who visit my site are writers or aspiring writers. We have this go-to excuse of writer’s block. It’s really fear and procrastination that stops us.
You have to break through your own limitations. They become walls that keep us inside the fence we call normal. There are three ways of doing this—three Fs that are the key to accomplishing anything.
Within reason, you can do pretty much anything you want to do.
Try it out. Go crawl around your block. Free yourself from expectations or social norms. If you crawl around the block, nobody will stop you. One of two things will happen. People will either see that you’re having fun and join you on your journey. Or they’ll get the hell out of your way and look at you like you went nuts. Let’s face it—the later will probably happen. But nobody will stop you.
We always think we can’t do something because people tell us that—because we get rejected. Hell, we tell ourselves we can’t do something and give up all power.
Screw the norms. Forget the limitations you set for yourself. Take what you want. That’s what free is.
Fast and Free go hand in hand. If you free yourself of expectations and limits, you do things faster. Whether that’s setting PRs in a half marathon or almost doubling your writing speed, Free leads to Fast.
Fast feels great. Fast gets shit done. Fast nets results. Once you free yourself of limits it’s imperative to push yourself harder. That means faster, and further. Higher word count? Absolutely. More miles on the trails? Yep. Faster typing? You know it. You have to improve your craft in every way. Speed breeds confidence and makes it much easier to feel free.
Fearless is doing what nobody else wants to do. It’s not giving into pain, pressure, expectation, and doing what you feel is right. Fearless stares rejection and failure in the face and cracks a smile.
I struggle with being fearless. Not writing on this blog for so long is all the evidence of that you need. Book sales stagnated, and I worried that what I’m doing to promote myself wasn’t working. My solution: write more and see what happens. I’m taking action now. I’ll be done with my current work in a week. I’ll begin editing the four projects I currently have on the shelf.
Fear hurts us all more than it helps. Make goals to take your game to the next level. Take pride and ownership in your work. That’s what being fearless to me is. It’s about time I get the ball rolling again.