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I was listening to an interview with computer security expert Bruce Schneier this weekend and he brought up a very good point…

There’s a difference between feeling safe and being safe, he said. It’s an important distinction because you can actually feel very safe when you’re not.  And be very safe when you feel insecure.

He was talking about the safety of your information online and when you travel.  But I think this realization applies to writing and photography, too.

Photography, for example, can come with all kinds of fears.  What if I can’t figure the camera out and I mess something up?  What if I start taking pictures and find out I’m no good?

Travel writing is the same.  What if nobody likes what I write?  What if an editor laughs in my face and black-balls me from working in this industry again?

Clearly these fears are irrational.  Editors aren’t black-balling new writers for writing bad stories, and anything you mess up on your camera is a Google search away from a fix.  

Yet in these moments when we’re entirely safe, we can actually feel very insecure.

Wayne Hoover, one of the guests we invited back to speak at our last photography workshop told the crowd that fear is just: False Evidence Appearing Real.

Oprah says she was scared out of her mind when she decided to start her own network.  But the key to her success was just doing one right thing on top of the next right thing.  Mistakes, she said, were just road signs that told her the next right step was in another direction.  Without them, she would have never found her way.

And I think this is so true about writing and photography, too.  There really aren’t any mistakes.  Just road signs that say: “Oops, wrong way.  Turn around and try again.”  We actually need them to find the right path.

And big projects that seem so monstrous you don’t know where to start are easily climbed with just one right step on top of yesterday’s right step…using as many road signs as possible to get to a beautiful end.

So what’s on your project list today?  What one right step can you take to accomplish something big you really want to accomplish?

If setting up a blog is something you’re thinking about, stay tuned.  I’ve got lots of blogging success stories to share with you this week. 

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