You are playing the most important game of your life. Suddenly you forget the rules. Everything seems meaningless. You go to the darkest corner of your mind and play the game for yourself.
You know what I mean. If you’re a writer, you’ve probably done it. If you’re a man, it was probably on some level when you were a teenager. You forget that there is actually a meaning to the whole thing and you go at it completely on your own.
You can either dwell on what could’ve been or get busy.
You have to do it, even if it means you will be bad at it. Even if you might succeed in losing a part of you forever.
Once you’ve learned the rules, you have to use them, because they could be the only thing that’s left of you.
But do you remember the rules? Do you want to?
Dealing with the Fear of Failure
I can only imagine that for a human being, perfection is like being at the top of a mountain: it is either done or it is not. And perfection is an ideal and it is so far away that you can’t even imagine reaching it. It can be made possible by thousands of small actions to build a ladder to the top. But this ladder is not the mountain; the mountain is already a mountain. And it’s sitting on top of the ladder.
At the end of the day, it’s the decision that really counts. You can choose to climb the mountain or you can decide to stay in your house.
A person who makes it to the top is the one who is prepared to risk nothing in order to go for it. But a person who can risk what’s there can never reach the top.
When you decide to do something and then you do it, it doesn’t matter how much effort you put into it: if you don’t give it a shot, you are lost. And that’s true for all the little things you do in life, from learning to speak a new language to buying a new pair of shoes. You need to be prepared to screw up.
You don’t become a master of something simply because you know how to do it; you become a master of something if you actually do it.
Don’t treat your art as an end in itself. Just do it. Use your worst instinct.
Give the world a show
And here is the final lesson of the great stories: they go on. Even when the characters that we loved to hate turned into monsters, we still continued to read them.
These stories taught us that when you are faced with the worst you can imagine, and you have no way out, you can start again. You can start again with a new weapon and start again with the weapons of your enemies. You can start again from nothing.
The worst you can imagine doesn’t exist and so you need to create it.
You can start again.
It may seem useless. It might seem hopeless. But let’s be honest: without being able to start again, we would all be dead.