“Just do it” has been Nike’s slogan since 1988. I never understood the meaning of it until a few years ago. You see, like so many others, I had been waiting for the perfect time to accomplish my lifelong dream of sharing the stories that floated around my head with the world.
I often hear people say, “When I retire, I will travel the world… I will write a memoir, I will publish that story. When I get enough money I will…. (Fill in the blank). But what if you never live to retirement? Or what if you are in poor health at the time or just too poor because your nest egg got eroded?
For years I was one of those people. From a child, my dream was to be a writer and share my stories with the world. But I knew there was no financial security in writing or guarantees of any kind. So for many years I followed a more secure path and concentrated on securing an education. I would write and publish after I finished college… after I finished graduate school… after I got my career up and running….
But nine years ago, before I completed graduate school complications during childbirth almost robbed me of that opportunity. Preeclampsia had me hospitalized with blood pressure so high I was almost blind. After delivering prematurely (the only cure for preeclampsia), a spinal headache that went undiagnosed for days put me on the brink.
When I recovered, I looked back at how close I’d come to losing my life. I realized had I died in childbirth, not only would I not have enjoyed the wonders of motherhood, by my stories would have died with me. I made the decision to share my stories with the world. My new motto: Nike’s slogan, “Just do it.”
While on maternity leave I wrote my first full length novel and tried to publish it. After many, many, many, many rejections from publishers, I stopped pushing that book and wrote another. Finally, six years after my new motto, I was able to accomplish the dream of sharing my stories with the world. My book was published.
I know many aspiring authors are sitting on the fence doing the same thing that I did: they are waiting for the right time. Or they are waiting for the right inspiration. Guess what? That time, that inspiration may never come. “Carpe Diem”, “There’s no time like the present”, “procrastination is the thief of time” “tomorrow may never come” are just a few clichés I can think of to throw at you. Instead, I’ll just go with Nike’s slogan. Stop waiting for the perfect time, “Just do it.”