When Hakavai was first born I tried to be all laissez faire and earth mother-y.
I’d swan about in a sarong (one of Michael’s old t-shirts), my hair artfully knotted around a flower crown (old piece of toast) and utter phrases like:
“When he’s tired, he’ll let me know”.
And he did. Just not in the way I’d hoped.
He’d lie awake all day, start screaming from pure exhaustion at around 4 pm and then pass out in a sweaty heap a few hours later.
So, I tried the opposite approach.
I put him on a strict schedule and guess what? It worked a treat.
I was so smug. I told my friends all about our new schedule.
“It’s so simple!” I would enthuse, eyes wild with the glory of control. “I just bath him, play him a song, then give him a massage, then I spin clockwise three times and put him down! He’s out like a light!”
I was so smug…. for three days, and then he changed. Needed a new approach. Again.
The point of this mothering diatribe?
No one really knows what they’re doing.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I’d just submitted the final manuscript of my new book Happy (and other ridiculous aspirations).
A girl replied and asked for my advice.
She’s an aspiring writer and wanted to know how I did it – how I’d actually managed to sit down and write the thing.
As if there’s some sort of secret to being a writer.
Because, there’s not.
See above. No one really knows what they’re doing when they first start out.
Not at being a Mum, or a writer, or a lawyer. Hell, I bet ice cream tasters don’t know what they’re doing when they first start out.
(To be fair, does anyone know what they’re doing other than living my dream life?!)
The point is: the only way to get better at something is to just start doing it.
So, if you want to write, write! (I recommend a site called 750words).
If you want to be an ice cream taster, start tasting a bunch of ice cream.
Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do, or to reveal some secret about how to do it best.
Start doing it, and keep doing it.
PS. Is your inbox not going “ding!” with a new letter from me each Thursday? You gotta join the letter gang mate! It’s the best thing I do every week – and very often, the best thing landing in inboxes across the country. Join us here. We love new gang members!