An often-repeated theme of mine is that people cannot succeed without trying but they will always fail by doing nothing. Garth sang about it so eloquently in his 1993 hit about love but the sentiment applies to every aspect of life. I am convinced that most of the anger and rage in American society and the world is from people who have invested in the lives of entertainers, politicians, political parties, religions, special interest groups, etc., not in their own lives. When those through whom they are living vicariously fail, or are perceived to have failed, those living their lives by proxy also fail. Thereby creating frustration and anxiety in those followers. Political parties, social movements, the entertainment industry, general consumerism of the market place all depend on people thinking that the success of others will translate to them. And people sway in search of happiness and contentment from one fad to the next big thing, one political idea to another, one product to a new and improved product.
So, what are you doing with your one-and-only life? Are you allowing someone else to live it for you?
In conversations with people about writing, I always emphasize that a good screenplay, novel or short story is in the rewriting. There is no rewriting if there is nothing to rewrite. That may sound too obvious, but I have encountered many who say that they have an idea for a story or a piece of creativity or a business but never take the first step to accomplishing anything. Sometimes, you have to just sit down with a computer or pick up a pen and paper and simply write. There is one sure way to fail at writing, never write a word; major fail!
I have a list of people I admire; average people who took the risk of being burnt by walking into the fire. They are those who started writing and managed to get from fade in to fade out or preface to epilogue. They wrote a 3000 to 7500 word short story or a how-to manual on creating a website, building a custom car or whatever interested them. Big heroes are people who left their comfort zones and started their own businesses. Some jumped out of planes, went to a firing range or hiked the Appalachian Trail.
The one constant in the world is that of constant change. The world is going to go on as the world does; today is different from yesterday and will be far different tomorrow and all the tomorrows that come. There are those in it whose success is completely reliant on others being willing to live life through them; people willing to give them their one-and-only lives. Then there are individuals who walk into the fire and risk the chance of being burned for the chance to really, truly live their own lives.
Perhaps today is it time for fire walking.