One of the most intriguing moments of a show is when you discover someone is really good at something you didn’t expect. Often, they didn’t expect it, either.
How can we forget that moment in Good Will Hunting when he takes a break from mopping up the school to solve a complex math problem.
Or, in The Queen’s Gambit, when a little Beth Harmon sits down to play chess for the first time.
Sure, it’s fun when suited-up heroes fly out of the sky undisguised to whisk people out of trouble.
But far more interesting is the quirky outsider, the sleeper, who suddenly realizes she has a gift, a calling, an ability, a desire that puzzles even her.
Has that ever happened to you? I bet it has.
Maybe you didn’t go on to become a world-dominating chess celeb (or did you? How have we not talked about that?), but you discovered a…facility, an ease, a pleasure in doing a thing that surprised even you.
It could have happened in yoga class. On a sketch pad. The moment you realized you not only loved reading great books, but wanted to write one of your own.
But it only happens if you give yourself the chance to…play around with it. Spend a little time.
Then someone says, “Hey, you know? What you just did is pretty great.”
Sometimes that’s all you needed to hear to keep going.
I find this happens to a lot with people on the page, specifically. They tell themselves they aren’t writers or hate to write ever since British Lit class when Ms. Montague handed their paper back to them, bloodied with ink.
You know what? Screw Ms. Montague. What did she know from writing? She only knew “grading,” which in most cases is more like degrading.
You don’t have to decide to “be” a writer to write. You don’t need a degree in it, or to write that on your LinkedIn.
You don’t have to call yourself anything at all in order to use the page to do the OTHER stuff you want to do, whether it’s write a guide, create a course, or simply not hate yourself every time you sit down to write a business-related email.
What if you decided to take a low-stakes approach to your own creative exploration, your own work, and allowed a little genius to surface?
Now that would be something worth staying tuned in for.
If that sounds fun, join me for five free days on the page next week for Start Writing week. It’s back! And I’d love you to join me.
Come channel your inner Matt Damon.