Quotes – Writing 101 – Day 7

I have spent most of my life worrying about things that have never happened

Mark Twain
US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 – 1910)

I’ve never really been  a worrier although I know lots of people who are. I read the above quote many years ago and it was probably one of the first to really strike a chord with me. I knew this was special and something I should try to emulate. It’s stuck with me all my life and it’s worked pretty well.

It’s very easy to let your imagination drift into the darker corners and start a whole chain reaction of doubt, which is totally unnecessary. The great ‘What if’, which we apply as writers, can be destructive if applied to your own life instead of restricted to fantasy. Thinking in ‘Worst case scenario’ mode can quickly alter moods and destroy confidence.

I understand that some people are cautious and think about all the possible consequences before making a decision. In some cases this can paralyze them so badly that no decision is ever actually made. Others are much more cavalier; I tend to be amongst the latter. I think that probably somewhere in the middle is the most sensible but I’ve never been know to be sensible.

I do have worries. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t but, on the whole, I try to apply Mark Twain’s words to them and put them into perspective.

Like risk assessment it’s all about risk versus probability. What are the real chances of your worry happening and if it did, would it make that much difference?

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