Things I know now that once I did not

It’s strange how much we take our skills and experience for granted. We go to work, enjoy our hobbies and, for the most part, think nothing of it. But it’s important to stop and take stock once in a while, look at what we’ve achieved and be proud.
I spent the best part of today talking to groups of University students. They were at The Workshop to learn about working in a professional environment. My part of the session focused on standing out from the crowd and using social media.

To be honest, I’ve been busy at work and didn’t have much time to prepare. Because of that, I decided simply to talk about some of the things I’ve done over the last five years. Like getting my current job, finishing my novel and launching Write for Your Life.

It wasn’t until afterwards that I started to think about what I had said to the students, and the things I’ve done since leaving university. Back then I hadn’t got a clue what I was doing – I just knew that I wanted to write. And yet look at me now. I write. That’s what I do.

People say that things are meant to be, but I’m not so sure. Almost everything I’ve achieved – the things I’m most proud of – have come through hard work and persistence.

I used to be a pretty handy footballer when I was younger, but then I spent every waking hour playing football. Now I’m a professional writer with a completed novel to my name. That hasn’t happened by chance, either. It wasn’t meant to be. I chose a route and went for it.

But it’s easy to focus on the going for it and forget to take in both where you are and how you got there. Speaking today about my career and writing, I realised something: there are things I know now that once I did not.

An obvious realisation. A simple and important truth.

  1. It’s important to keep pushing ourselves and make things happen because you’re right–things don’t start happening themselves, you need to put time and effort and practice and more practice into it before it starts to actually happen.
    But sometimes we’re so focused on moving forward that we don’t take the time to glance back and see all that we’ve achieved. It’s easy to overlook what we’ve accomplished when we’re pushing towards a goal. This is a great reminder to pause and congratulate ourselves on all that we’ve done so far.

    Thanks, Iain.

  2. I agree, Iain. It’s strange how my perception of what it is to be a writer has changed slowly since starting out on my career, without my even noticing. It may not be the same for all writers, but I always feel that each hurdle jumped is satisfying but not enough, so I seem to keep running on. Writing seems to be a stream of words, constantly flowing.

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