Are you happy with your life? Do you ever wish that your life were different? Are you where you want to be with your writing, business, love life, or just about anything else?
Most of the people who visit this blog are writers or readers. That pretty much sums up the entire population because if you are not doing one or the other or both, you are probably dead. As readers and writers, we are very familiar with novel structure. It’s a series of chapters. You start with the introduction of a main character who experiences a transformation through a growth process that may involve mystery, romance, action, heartbreak, death, illness or exploration. The concepts are limitless.
Our lives can be looked at the same way. Everything that happens in our life is a “chapter” in our life. Do your characters change throughout a story? Of course, otherwise it might be a boring story. How about your own life? Is it boring? Exciting? Have you experienced sorrow or happiness—or in a great story—both?
Here’s the thing. Every day we write another chapter of our life. Just like in your books, your life’s chapters should build on the previous ones. Do you feel like you’re in a rut? Write yourself a new chapter. Do something new—different. It doesn’t mean you have to go jump out of a plane. Take chances—put yourself out there. Submit something to the IU weekly flash fiction contest. Call your local library and ask if you can do a talk. Call your local museum and ask if you can do a book signing. Who cares if no one shows up!
We need to keep writing new chapters of our life all the time. Think about your books that you write. Would your main character sit around doing nothing? Would someone read that book? We’re writers! Let’s live our lives as if we can write each chapter going forward. It’s not about circumstances—it’s about making the best of every opportunity.
Most people are satisfied with mediocrity. It’s time to start living life in the uncomfortable zone. It’s time to bust open and go all out. I know I’m tired of all of my own excuses. How different would things be if you (and me) had written 1,500 per day for the last 60 days? Maybe some of you did. If so, it’s probably comfortable. Find something that makes you uncomfortable. That’s how you can write new chapters in your life. The year is half over. Let’s crank it up so that at the end of 2013, you can look back and say, “That was the year that changed my life.”
29 thoughts on “How Do You Write the Chapters of Your Life?”
Good pep talk, Jim. I like the analogy. I’ve tried that a number of times, and each time I do I come out of my new experiences a braver and more accomplished person.
Awesome, thanks Yvonne.
Well then, it sounds as if you’ve read my book! That is my point, exactly. There are no excuses. As a writer, you have the ability to conjure whatever tale you like, but as a person, you’ve got to experience it to get the full effect. If you don’t wake up tomorrow and have a great story to tell about tonight, then what was the point? Live well, my friends, and die old.
Thanks, JT. I’m sorry to say, I haven’t read your book, but it sounds like a good one. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for your comments!
Not like crusty, decrepit, faded memory and balls touching the floor old, but old enough.
Eh, what was that? What are you talking about? Fwwump … Damn balls get in the way all the time …
I like your analogy. Thanks, Jim!
Powerful post. I like to think I am open to new experiences, but sometimes it is easy to slip into a rut (especially a social media rut!) and it can be difficult to push out of the boundaries of comfort/safety.
Thank you – This post is just what I needed today! .
Thanks, Mel. It’s easy to slip into a rut. Comfort is easy. Uncomfortable is hard. Keep pushing.
Courage is a slippery thing to grab hold of, but stepping out of our comfort zones can be very rewarding. Thanks for the nudge Jim.
My pleasure, AC. Thanks for the comment.
I always remind myself to take one step out of my comfort zone every day. Many exciting things and meetings have occurred when I followed this plan, including getting the wonderful opportunity to live in the USA! That’s another chapter!
What a great philosophy, Ester. One step out of your comfort zone every day. I love it. Thanks for sharing.
A really nice, zappy article there, Jim. And kinda how I feel about life, most of the time; well, OK, kinda how I feel about life when I’m being the me that I like being, and that’s when I’m living in line with my beliefs.
Thank you very much, Jim, you’ve given me a nudge this morning.
Thanks, TD. That means a lot coming from you … and I’ve never been described as zappy! Cool.
I, too, like the analogy.
Thanks, Kathryn. 🙂
Thank you, Jim, great analogy. Turn the page, start over…
Thanks, Laurie. I like the turn the page concept, but I don’t look at it as starting over, more like, whats happens next!
Love this post, Jim! Especially the ‘who cares if no one shows up’ statement 🙂 Who wants to get to the end of their life thinking “I wish I would have…” Blech. JUST. DO. IT.
Woo Hoo! Thanks DV!
Love this, particularly — time to live life in the “uncomfortable zone.” Thanks, Jim!
Glad you loved it, thanks for commenting!
It’s so easy to get comfortable in our nice, cozy, cotton batting, sometimes we forget to break out. My husband and I love to do fun things: zip-lining, para-sailing, snorkeling, mining for treasure; we even went to adult space camp. Our friends often say, “You do the most interesting things!” Well, those things are out there for anyone to do. Just go have fun! Life is an adventure; get on with it!
You got it, Melissa. I love that you did adult space camp! I’ll be doing it one day too! Thanks for the comments.
Thanks Jim…what a great approach.
I’ll give everyone two days to live. What do you do in the next 24 hours and when it’s done, what should you have done? Do it in the next 24. I bet you are thrilled with what you did.
Thanks, Dick, love your concept!
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