Might as Well Jump | Sara Biren
Van Halen has provided a rich and memorable soundtrack of my life since the early 80s. Over the years, Ed (rest in peace), Dave, Sammy, and the guys (mostly Sammy) have given me countless mottos and memories. Sometimes, when you’re faced with a big decision or a fork in the road, the best advice comes from the rock stars.
JumpDid you know that the average person makes 35,000 decisions in one day? You read that right. THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND. Get up with the alarm or hit snooze? Shower or skip it? Short-sleeved or long-sleeved T-shirt? Coffee or tea (coffee, obviously). You’ve already made a ton of decisions before you’ve even made it past the kitchen.
As authors—established or aspiring—not only do we have to choose what to write, how to write it, and when, we’ve also got to deal with all the baggage that comes along with those decisions: self-doubt, imposter syndrome, writer’s block, emergency cheese breaks. Speaking from experience, a person could make about 35,000 decisions to avoid sitting down at the computer, opening the document, and taking the proverbial leap—starting a new novel or diving back in where you left off.
What’s really stopping you? You’ve got to take that leap. As David Lee Roth would tell you, you might as well jump.
DreamsThe summer that Van Halen’s “Dreams” soared up the charts, I nannied for my neighbor’s children and would crank up the stereo in their living room whenever that song came on the radio. This song spoke to me. I had big dreams of a future in which I wrote books that someone loved as much as I loved Anne of Green Gables and The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary. I’d wanted that since third grade and, after three books, I still hold on tight to that dream.
Back then, I carried spiral notebooks with me everywhere, jotting down ideas, characters, and settings. I read whatever I could get my hands on from the library and the bookshelves in my living room—books my siblings had left behind—to not only enjoy the stories but to learn how to tell them. My notebooks are fancier now and less tattered but not much else has changed. “Dreams” is still my number one favorite Van Halen song. I’m still working hard to achieve my dream. The problem is…
Finish What Ya StartedOf those 35,000 decisions I make on any given day, none of them lately have been to sit down at my laptop and get back to my current novel. This blog post is as much to motivate myself as it is to inspire you. Yep, you might as well jump—take the leap to make your dreams come true. Come on, baby, finish what you started.
You’ve heard me say it before. Keep moving forward. Go after your dreams. Write the book.
Right NowI will leave you with lyrics to my second-favorite Van Halen song, “Right Now,” and I will let those lyrics speak for themselves.
It's your tomorrow
C'mon, it's everything
Catch that magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything
It's enlightened me, right now
What are you waitin' for?
Oh, yeah, right now