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Knowing Vs. Doing

I see this gap all the time: “KNOWING” vs actually doing. To me, this gap is bigger than the knowledge gap we pretend education is all about. That all the information in the world is often useless if we don’t take action based on it. Have you ever worked a job where management talked about solutions, and talked, and talked, and talked… but nothing ever changed? So too are the lives of many writers.

So when I work with writers, it is all about action.

If you aren’t living the life of a writer, then you are merely an anthropologist, studying their habits from a distance. And that gap is huge. It’s the same gap between singing in front of a mirror into a hairbrush, vs getting on stage at a local club or cafe and actually singing to an audience.

Every day, I work with writers to help them get past their biggest challenges. I constantly get emails, or panicked messages with titles such as “STUCK,” with an explanation that the writer has hit a wall. They are working hard to find their audience, to engage with those who are ideal readers, to find time to write, to feel like any of this makes sense. And they get lost, or lose focus, or motivation.

The wall is rarely knowledge-based. I mean, sure, I teach courses, and in doing so, share LOTS of knowledge. Strategy, tips, resources, step-by-steps, etc. And that is why people think they sign up for them. But really, the value they get is this:

TAKING ACTION. WITH A BUDDY.

Huh? Let me explain. My friend, and a client, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore talked bout this recently: THE CURE FOR BUTTERFLIES? GET A BUDDY. In other words: everything feels better when you have a buddy with you along the way.

What we often need is someone to work with, someone to help us crack the code. Another writer recently wrote this to me: “I have to get out of my own way.” That is typically the biggest obstacle to success – not the barriers others put in front of us, not some critical piece of missing knowledge, not some “secret,” but rather, getting out of our own way.

This is what I help folks do. I help writers get out of their own way to find success.

Thanks!
-Dan

  • Great post, Dan! Peter Shallard talks about how we can get caught up in potential and let it go to rot. If we’re not committing action, we’re wasting all that pent-up momentum and squandering the gifts we’ve been given. Check out Peter’s thoughts some time about driving action.