It’s Your Turn to Live The Writer’s Life
By Sheldon Gladstein
You know B2B copywriting is your path to success, but how soon can you start living the writer’s life?
According to Seth Godin, the answer is right now.
Seth Godin — Mr. Different
If there’s anyone who dares to think differently in the world of marketing, it’s Seth Godin. With bestselling titles like Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, All Marketers Are Liars, We Are All Weird, and many more, he’s taught the business world to not be afraid to stand up and be different. His many other endeavors, like Squidoo, Seth’s Blog, podcasts — you name it — have gotten his message of daring to be different out to me and you.
And now, according to Seth, it’s your turn.
It’s your turn to do what?
With his What to Do When it’s Your Turn, Seth Godin makes the case that it’s always your turn, right now. It’s your turn to make a ruckus. To write, sing, invent, create, launch a project, organize a protest, do what you know in your heart is the right thing to do, the meaningful thing to do, the thing you were meant to do. If you know you were meant to be a B2B writer, it’s your turn. If you know you were meant to be an entrepreneur, it’s your turn. If you know you were meant to be a beekeeper, it’s your turn. Now. It’s your turn. It’s always your turn.
It’s your turn to get off the broken escalator.
Godin makes the point that it’s clear there will be difficulties to face and obstacles to overcome in living your writing (or any other) dream. That’s absolutely to be expected.
But the point is — stop waiting. Stop expecting someone to give your dreams to you. It’s your turn to take action.
Godin cites a commercial from several years back to illustrate his point. Two executive-looking people are riding on an escalator. Suddenly the escalator lurches to a broken halt. Bewildered, the executives can’t figure out what to do. “Help!” they shout. “Someone will come to fix it,” they reassure each other. Then they just sit and wait on the stairs.
So many of us are on that escalator. We feel stuck, out of control, with no recourse but to sit and wait. Take action! Climb the stairs! It’s your turn. It’s always your turn.
It’s your turn to stop seeking the comfort of your cage.
According to Godin, people get frozen and let their dreams gradually melt away. There’s a certain degree of fear of freedom that we have, and that fear can be paralyzing. “Oh my goodness, the escalator’s stuck!” It’s almost like we seek the comfort of our own cages, and refuse to fly out.
Godin quotes the philosopher Erich Fromm: “The majority of men have not yet acquired the maturity to be independent, to be rational, to be objective. They need myths and idols to endure the fact that man is all by himself, that there is no authority which gives meaning to life except man himself. Modern man still is anxious and tempted to surrender his freedom to dictators of all kinds, or to lose it by transforming himself into a small cog in the machine, well fed, and well clothed, yet not a free man but an automaton.”
It’s your turn to take concrete, smart actions toward your dreams.
With all his encouragement to take action, Godin makes sure to make clear that the actions should be the right ones. He doesn’t want you to leap off the escalator, vault over the side wall, swing from the lighting cables, and smash through the windows! Instead he refers to concrete, smart actions that get you to where you know you really want to be.
Be thirsty for knowledge, not just for grades, and learn, learn, learn. Show up for your effort and do it with your whole self, not half-heartedly. Don’t be afraid of looking stupid — it’s just pre-learning, a process, learning on the go.
Be prepared, but don’t be stuck in a never ending preparation cycle. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, create them for yourself. Make yourself ready by doing. Think about Gutenberg, who invented the printing press when the vast majority of the world was illiterate.
It’s your turn to embrace the difficulties.
There will be difficulties along the way. Godin knows you know that. But he suggests that you embrace those difficulties, recognize that there’s value and joy in overcoming them. Besides, he says, those difficulties ahead are not reason enough to stand in the way of doing what you know you need and want to do.
No, it won’t all be smooth sailing. But, like Van Gogh said, “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
It’s your turn to rely on the strength within.
Seth Godin likes his quotes! His book is full of them. He makes sure to include this one from Zig Ziglar, a.k.a. Mr. Motivator. “Motivation is a lot like showering. It’s useful but it doesn’t last. You need to repeat it often.”
In other words, great sayings are fine, but the motivation must come from within.
Which is to say …
It’s your turn to live the writer’s life.
It’s time. Get up and move. Write the most incredible B2B, B2C, or poetry. Move forward. Climb off the escalator. Do what you were meant to do.
Don’t be frozen by the need for the security of a cage, of someone else’s structure, of someone else’s rules. Don’t wait for someone to give you the life you’ve been dreaming of. Don’t hesitate at the challenges.
Live the writer’s life you’ve been dreaming of. It’s your turn.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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