Happy Sunday (Or whenever you happen to be reading this) Readers.
I’d like to start off today’s post with a Quote:
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
It was Wayne Gretzky who said that.
Now it may be that you’ve heard this before. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve heard it. It’s one of those sayings that kinda sits in the back of your head, waiting, until something brings it to the front again.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Origin Stories these past few weeks. From Victoria V.E. Schwab‘s No Write Way podcast to Mary Zimmer‘s VoiceHacks podcast (I highly recommend both) and if there could be said to be one underlying theme among the stories behind all these creatives it is this:
Take your shot.
To put it another way, each one of those creatives had an idea of what they wanted to do, they put the work in and, when the time came, they put themselves out there–took themselves out of their comfort zone, took a chance.
Taking that chance is the hardest part, because before you send that email, walk up to that person to introduce yourself, send that application, that query letter, that demo – you know what I mean–you face the largest obstacle to your success.
I know some of you are scoffing at that, but the reasons I come up with for why I shouldn’t “Do the thing” are brilliant. I’ve elevated them to an artform.
They’re also all bullshit and the manifestation of my anxieties and insecurities, but if you saw anything equally creative in any other form, you’d pause to admire the skill that went into it.
We are never more creative than when we are lying to ourselves.
Don’t take that shot. They’ll probably just say no anyway.
Statistically, if you’re a creative, this is true. But here’s the thing:
You only need one “Yes.”
In those interviews you’ll hear people talking about how lucky they got. And, to a point, that’s right. Luck most certainly exists, but each and every creative had put in the work that enabled them to be ready when the opportunity presented itself.
Luck = Skill + Opportunity
Sometimes the opportunities come around to you. Most often, if you look at it, you can trace that opportunity back to a “No,” to a time when you took a shot.
You may have heard the phrase “A no is the same as not asking at all.” I disagree. Getting a “No” means that you’ve put your hand up for something. You’ve let Someone know. It’s a smaller world than you think and that someone who said no, might recommend you to someone else, if you’ve got the skill.
Other times – and these are the things that look most like Luck on the surface – opportunities will seem to come out of the blue. You’ll get a call to collaborate on something, someone will ask if you’re interested in contributing a story, someone will ask if you’re open to commissions.
None of that is as spontaneous as it seems. Someone found you, or someone who is familiar with what you do recommended you to someone else. The point is that you had to put yourself out there before any of that could happen.
You take a piece of yourself and you shoot it out into the world. That’s hard. A lot of folk can’t bring themselves to do it.
We’ve all got false walls that we’ve spun around ourselves. Developing the skill (and it is a skill) to step beyond ourselves is uncomfortable. There’s new and uncharted territory out there. There is also opportunity. A new experience, a new direction, a new life, things you’ve never even dreamed were possible.
Go get them.
Take your shot.
Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.
I’ll see you on Thursday.
Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.
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