Cheryl Strayed, the brilliant author of books like Wild and Torch was once asked for writing advice on her popular advice column.

A struggling writer had reached out —hoping to glean some much-needed wisdom to put words on a page.

(It sounds easy, but uh, it’s not.)

And Cheryl could have repeated the old tropes, the same worn-out advice every successful writer dishes out ad nauseam, quoting Bird by Bird for the billionth time.

But she didn’t.

While she wrote an engaging piece on her own experience with writing and the emotional mess it can be —it was how she finished that spoke volumes:

Write like a motherfucker.

Write like a motherfucker was Cheryl’s advice —and here’s what I took it to mean:

Throw yourself into the fire and lose yourself in the process.

Whether it’s writing, singing, creating, a new business —be willing to light yourself on the fire in the pursuit of what matters to you.

Write when you’re sad.
Write when you’re afraid.
Write when you’re on fire.
Write when you’re excited.
Write when you’re exhausted.
Write when you’re totally lost.
Write when you’re questioning.

(You can replace “write” with your activity.)

And in other words —be grateful that you have found your thing —because so many people have not found theirs or are too afraid to admit they have.

By doing so —the actual art of the process is not about some means to an end in the distant future that you must wait to bask in.

Instead:

The act if doing it becomes that very end.

(Read that twice and really let it sink in.)

Because for many writers, creatives, entrepreneurs —they focus on some external outcome which they can’t control.

(Raises hand; I’ve been there and it’s no fun.)

And it leaves them paralyzed, lost, confused —and unable to do the very thing that lights their soul on fire.

Last, the one thing I’m reminded of when I read the quote is:

If you’re going to do it —do it all the way.

This is a Bukowksi quote —which I don’t aspire to be like —but it’s relevant.)

If you’re going to start the novel, do it all the way.
If you’re going to start the project, do it all the way.
If you’re going to start the business, do it all the way.
If you’re going to start the platform, do it all the way.

Or else, why bother?

A half-assed pursuit on something that matters to you is how you resent both yourself and the work.

Lose yourself in the process, allow it to engulf you, consume you —and remember:

This is what you signed up for.

(And likely —this is what you used to dream of doing.)

Write like a motherfucker; live like one too.

What does this mean to you?

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