Monday, 3 January 2011

Just Do It!

Hello and happy new year to you all! I'm posting this later than planned because I've been away for a few days. It was all rather last minute, but it was great. For various reasons we've never been able to go away for New Year, but this year, the opportunity arose.

At 4pm on Wednesday 29th December, we had no plans to go away. We were planning on having a day trip to the Lake District the following day (it's three hours driving each way) but I was a bit concerned because of the amount of fog that was forecast. Which is when I had the idea - why not see if I could book a couple of nights in a self-catering cottage, travel up on Thursday and come back on New Year's Day? Then I began thinking about it a bit more, and another little voice told me to stop being silly. People book holiday accommodation for Christmas and New Year months, even years, in advance. There was no point.

Yet the idea wasn't letting go. Go on! Give the agency a ring, it kept saying. So I did. And guess what? They had one property available. I only wanted it for two nights, but the agency said they couldn't let it for two nights - or rather - they could, but they'd have to charge me the short break price, which is for three nights. Then the agency said that for an additional £15 we could have the cottage for four nights. Sold! So, within 30 minutes of having the idea, the accommodation was booked and all sorted, and at 8.30 the following morning, I was on my way up to the Lake District.

As we say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new, everybody looks back at what they have achieved in the last year and plans what they hope to do in the next. But we should also remember, that whatever it is we plan to do in 2011, it won't happen unless we get off our backsides and do it.

So if 2011 is the year that you've decided to get ten articles or short stories published, or to write the first draft of a novel, or to try to get an agent, remember that none of this will happen unless you get off your backside and do something about it. Don't sit there thinking about what are the chances of your idea working. Sometimes we can think too much. Just do it! It's the only way to find out. If you want to target a new market, then do it. If you want to go to a literary festival, then do it.

We had a lovely time in the Lake District; it was a wonderful way to begin the new year. I'm so glad I picked up the phone to the self-catering agency.

Whatever your dream is for 2011, don't think about it too much. JUST DO IT!

Good luck.


  1. Bum on seat and write, then bum off seat and submit! Glad you had a great time away - now back to the grindstone young man!

  2. Simon, you're so right. I spent the Christmas break sorting through various boxes of research. I now have the bones of at least three articles and I'll be pitching them soon.

    I've already had one article commissioned from a pitch late last year, so I'm definitely going to keep the motivation rolling on!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Happy New Year sir,

    I hope this year I do some of my assignments :)

    To get back on writing I am keeping a blog

    atleast it keeps me motivated.


    Lubna Shahab

  4. It's like that book 'Who stole my cheese?' isn't it.
    Someone recommended it to me a couple of years ago and I have to say I was a bit gobsmacked that someone could get away with writing so few words in such large print spread over so many pages and charge so much for it.

    But the general idea within it is that the people who succeed in life are the ones who JUST DO IT!

    The actual story is about mice who have had their cheese stolen. Some mice go off and look for more cheese. Some stay where they are and worry, waiting to see if it will come back...Should they go and look? Oh, whatever should they do?
    Or something like that.

    No prizes for guessing which mice get the cheese.

    Anyway, the author clearly JUST DID IT and has sold many, many copies of this simple little book.

    Thanks Simon. Great advice.