If You Wanted To, You Would…

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Ray Edwards is a copywriter/blogger/podcaster/etc. who coaches/challenges/encourages/etc. wannabes to get started/get better/get busy/etc. His recent blog post – a pitch for Scrivener – included this story…

Once upon a time, I loved the writing tools more than the writing itself. I loved to talk about writing, to speculate about writing, and to collect writing pens, writing paper, and writing software. One day, when I was complaining about not having time to actually write, my wife asked me, “Why does it bother you?”

“Because I want to write,” I said. I am certain it came out in an exasperated tone.

“No you don’t,” she said. “If you wanted to write, you would write.”

Ouch.

Ouch, indeed.

If we say we want to do something – whatever it is – and we keep looking for excuses not to do it, it may be time to question whether we are telling ourselves and others the truth.

I know I keep coming back to this space and moaning and whining about wanting to write, only to keep putting it off.

I don’t have time.

I’m not good enough.

No one wants to read it.

I don’t know enough. 

I haven’t found the right tools.

I’ve used every excuse imaginable. And some unimaginable ones, too. I see people who I never imagined being real writers knocking it out on a regular basis. They can do it. Why can’t I?

I keep coming back to Ray Edwards’s wife’s “ouch” moment…

If you wanted to, you would.

The stark truth is not that I can’t, but that I don’t.

I have a birthday this week. I can’t think of a better time to focus on some intentions that have gotten off track.

What do you say you want to do, but aren’t doing? Why not? What would it take for you to get back on track? What’s stopping you? What’s stopping me?

  • Thanks for the mention, Charlie! Good post.

    • CharliePharis

      Thank you, Ray!