My Advice: Fake It

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about confidence, and how I need it in order to write.  Sometimes, however, the confidence just isn’t there.  During those tremulous times, when to do nothing means failure, I fake it.  I pretend I have the confidence, and move forward.

It’s not just with writing that I do this, though.  I do this during swing band.  I’ll look at a part of music that I have no idea how to play, like a long section of improv, and fake it.  It’s amazing how often this works out.  We are capable of doing much more than we think we can.

In the last few days, I’ve found myself in a position where I needed to give some advice.  I won’t go into the specifics, because the matters in every case were private.  But in every case, the advice ultimately came down to the same thing: If you feel weak, if you feel overwhelmed, if you feel like your best just isn’t enough, pretend otherwise.

Be real with your loved ones.  Be real where it counts.  But when it comes to adversity and you need to move forward, the best thing you can do is set aside what you think is real.  You might fail anyways, but failure is not the worst thing in the world.

The worst thing in the world is letting a moment get away from you, and wondering what would have happened if you’d taken a leap of faith.

If you find yourself on the edge of a dance floor, wanting to have fun, but afraid because you don’t know how to dance… fake it.  Of course you know how to dance.  Dancing is easy.

If you find yourself staring at a sheet of music, with 32 measures of chords instead of notes, and you’re afraid that you’re going to mess up your solo… fake it.  Stand up, fill your lungs, and blow.  If you can’t play it right, then play it loud.  You can do loud.  Music is easy.

If you find yourself staring at a blank page, with your head full of imagery and characters, but the words just aren’t coming… fake it.  Write anything.  There are people that have written some really terrible things, but still managed to get some sales because, in spite of their malicious use of words, they managed to convey cool ideas.  You have cool ideas.  So write them down.  You can do it.  Writing is easy.

(Quick note: in that last example, if you’re one of my writer friends, I’m not talking about you.  I’m thinking more along the lines of L Ron Hubbard.  Or E L James.  Or Stephanie Meyer.  And if you’re fans of their work… great!  You’re not alone, but I’m not one of their fans.)

Fake it long enough, and you WILL make it.