Stop Gathering. Start Making.

Written by Christine Kane

At some point, you’ve gathered enough information.

You’ve taken in enough advice. You’ve listened to enough audiobooks. You’ve read enough books. You’ve gotten all the inspiration you can get. You know the instructions by heart.

At some point – preferably NOW – it’s time to sit your ass down.

And make.

When I’m recording a CD, I take a hiatus from other people’s music. I spend weeks in a cave with my producer listening only to the musicians I’ve hired – as they shine all over my songs.

When I create a program (like Uplevel Your Life, or Uplevel Your Business), I turn away from my giant pile of books to read, I set aside my iPod with all its inspirational speakers, writers, coaches (of the life and business variety), experts, and gurus…

…and I Freakin’.

Just.

Write.

There is no way – and believe me I’ve tried – to know in advance if what I make is gonna be any good. Or if it’s gonna sell. Or if it’s gonna “work.” No amount of incoming information is going to answer that mystery. No amount of trying to inhale one more shred of inspiration is going to make it any easier to put your heart and soul out there.

But one thing’s for sure:

If you spend all your time gathering (and wondering), you’ll never really know, will you?

You’ve gathered all you need to gather. You’ve inhaled all you need to inhale.

Now, exhale.

Now, start making.

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{39 comments ... read them below or add one}

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{39 comments ... read them below or add one}

Leonie April 16, 2010 at 3:42 am

Oh dear, this is spot on for me! Thanks for the gentle kick in the backside!

I guess it’s time to just start writing fiction, even though it terrifies me, even though I don’t know quite what I want to write and how I want to write it… I keep thinking I’ll know better when I’m a little older, when I feel less terrified, when… Never.

I don’t want to be a writer who never wrote. I’d rather be a writer who wrote crappily and enjoyed it (although at the moment I get so scared by it all that enjoyment is far away). Imperfection all over again! I still have a lot to learn in that area – I can imperfectly do almost anything, except for the things I dream of.

Thanks for the great blog!

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Cristina April 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

Great post, did you write it with me in mind???
I’m getting better at the making part – thanks for the reminder :)

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tiny April 16, 2010 at 6:54 am

christine, this is so true and so frightening.

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Becky Hunter April 16, 2010 at 6:59 am

Thanks Christine, I needed this today! Still in the midst of essay writing, and still gathering extra information rather than writing the damn thing. OK, back to work.

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Kathy April 16, 2010 at 7:17 am

You didn’t address me by name…but I’m 99.5% convinced you wrote this one just for me. I needed this today, more than you could possibly know. Thanks, Christine.

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Googlover April 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

LOL. I hear my name.
I love to gather. It is so much easier to gather than do.
Thanks for the advice.

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Mindful Mimi April 16, 2010 at 8:05 am

Yup, I loooove gathering. I gather all sorts of stuff – a trait inherited from my Dad who comes from a 14 kids tribe and had to keep everything he got because there sure wasn’t much around – because you never know when you might need it. So I had trouble with the decluttering phase in your program ;-)
But now I tend to be the opposite, I de-gather, I de-clutter. And when I need to gather, I hoard things, sit on them for a while, go through the incubation and then I just go and DO things without waiting for inspiration.
Come to think of it, I sometimes don’t know WHEN I have gathered enough. When do you know you have all the info you need?
I am currently collecting information to set up a pitch to my management (yes, again) of an idea that I bread (yes, again) and I am a newbie at this and want to get it right. So I am collecting, cause it is indeed a safe stage. And I’m still in it because I don’t have the feeling yet that I have enough information to start writing. I don’t see the framework yet, the big picture. And I do need to see the big picture before I can unplug myself from the world and start writing.

So anything you have on corporate social responsibility and how to pitch that to your management would be of great help :-)

Otherwise, I will just start writing tonight :-)
Have a great sunshiny weekend.
M

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Amy Putkonen April 16, 2010 at 8:15 am

Hi Christine,

Great post! It is so easy to gather information like a squirrel gathering nuts, but it is a real thing to be able to put something out there that you can proudly hang your name upon. Love your blog!

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Renee April 16, 2010 at 8:31 am

I don’t write, I make jewelry, and I am definitely a gatherer and collector. I see things, and have to have them, sometimes with a great idea, and sometimes not. So, I have quite a collection of jewelry-making items. I have been thinking for some time that I need to put them to use, get my creative juices flowing and MAKE!! Thanks for the push – your advice goes a long way, and is relevant in every aspect of life.

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Andy (Viral Gigs) April 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

Yep, implementation is the missing ‘secret’ and it seems that the faster and more focused you implement the more attractional the vision becomes.

The resources needed just show up at the right time.

Like this post for me!

Cheers – Andy

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Laura April 16, 2010 at 8:47 am

I’ve been dealing with issue about naming my products. After over a year, i still am not in love with some of the names for my products. I think it’s better to launch anyway, and fix the name later. That’s what upgrades are for anyway. Happy Friday!

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Alisha April 16, 2010 at 8:59 am

This is exactly what I needed to read this morning. I get so caught up in the “how to…” that I never actually just “do”. But I am today. Thanks for getting me back on track!

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Kylie April 16, 2010 at 9:13 am

Yes, yes, YES. Have you read Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit? I’m sure you have. But she devotes an entire chapter specifically to this topic. It is some of the best advice I’ve ever heard.

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kelli April 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

Me too, Alisha! At least I’m a face now, and not just a snowflake!! No better time like the present…

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Joy Tanksley April 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

WHAT? I can’t read just ONE MORE BOOK? Come on! I just got a really good one from the library that I just KNOW is going to solve all my problems and answer all my questions.

Oh, and if that one doesn’t have all the answers, I ordered this other one from Amazon that sounds like it might be the ticket.

And I have a few more friends I need to talk to for advice…

And…

But…

What if…

; )

[Reply]

Kat April 16, 2010 at 11:07 am

Yes, yes, yes!

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Hannah Marcotti April 16, 2010 at 11:26 am

As all the comments are saying, that spoke to me so directly today. I am less than 2 weeks away from my group program start date and I know it is time to stop gathering and start knowing. Knowing that this is right, that it is in me, not somewhere else.

Beautifully written and shared.

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katherineME April 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm

This is just one more kick in the butt to get mine out there and do my run already! I wanted to be out there hours ago! Thanks C!
~K

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Patsy April 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Shall I be redundant with my comments?! Not only what I needed to hear, but what I was praying for – a Firm word! – last night!
Thank you Thank you!

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cindi April 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Like most of the others… I gotta ask
Are YOU talkin’ to me?
LOL
I just finished reading There’s No Such Thing As Coincidence by Jan Wolterman
… and yep I’m pretty sure you ARE talkin’ to me!
Thank you Christine for ‘holding my hand’ AGAIN!
oxo

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JB April 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm

OMG, this is so me today. I’m sitting here in my bathrobe, freshly bathed, debating furiously whether to drive a half hour to participate in an art bus tour around the city OR stay home and paint on my own. Realistically, it’s evening, the light is fading, as is my best creative energy (it was earlier, but I had “stuffs” to do “first”)—I know if I stay home, it’ll be more time wasted on FacelessBook and kicking myself for not going or painting. If I go, there’s a chance I might enjoy myself and come home inspired for tomorrow.

What to do… gather for one more evening, or paint in the dark?

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CB April 16, 2010 at 8:26 pm

What would art in the dark look like JB?

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Sher April 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Oh Christine, I just LOVE your blogs. You have been a true inspiration to me for many years (although I am a reader and not a contributor). Only this week I have been researching/writing a Mills and Boon and then along comes your Blog. Talk about coincidence. I have been, as you say, gathering, researching, talking about it and yet done nothing.
Thanks for your wonderful post.

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inge April 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm

that’s sound advice yet again =)

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Kim DuBois April 19, 2010 at 1:54 am

I think it was Louise Hay that said procrastination is nothing more than fear. Fear of succes, fear of failure. Either way let it go, and as you say, start making. My all time favorite quote is the Nike ad… Just Do It.

Thank you Christine.

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Anna April 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Just want to see if my gravatar works :)

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Suzie Cheel April 20, 2010 at 5:24 am

I saw the title of this blog in my reader and thought this is anither message for me to believe in my message thank you for
You’ve gathered all you need to gather. You’ve inhaled all you need to inhale.
Now, exhale.
Now, start making.ie
namaste
Suzie

[Reply]

Christine Kane April 20, 2010 at 9:01 am

Hi Everyone – thank you for adding such delicious extras for me to read! (And what you also need to remember – is that SOMETIMES I write these posts for me too! :-) )

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Ivy Tolchinsky April 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I really appreciate this article. I am the consummate diverger. I could research until I’m blue in the face and become completely paralyzed but I know it’s time for me to take action. I just have to remember that imperfection is perfection itself! I just read Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art. He’s really bang on about how resistance corrupts and sabotages our creativity. He gives great direction on how to break through this.
Thanks Christine
Ivy

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Raye April 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Wow! You really zeroed in on what is happening to me with this post. Although it hurt (alot!) thanks for the kick in the butt :) I need it.

Raye

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Nanette Saylor April 22, 2010 at 12:57 am

As a self-described “voracious information gatherer” I really need that reminder to stop and just get started creating. Of course my friends Daisy Distraction and Fearsome Freddie are usually at work keeping me from working through my fears to take inspired action.
I sincerely appreciate your message, Cristine.
Thank you.
Nanette

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inkgrrl April 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I just laughed out loud when I read this – thank you Thank You THANK YOU for the message. Received loud and clear!

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Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com April 30, 2010 at 2:46 am

Sometimes I think that we just read and read because secretly we don’t think the answer is in there we are just afraid of taking the action. We are afraid of failure, success and ultimately death. Face your fears or you’ll be under their thumb forever.

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Ron Hartzler June 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Everyone has a different amount/level requirement for the amount of info/data they “need” before they are ready to take action. There is no one “size fits all” on this point and the gurus (not you Christine) who just preach “just get out there and do it” are without understanding of this reality and do a disservice to all those folks who are at the higher end of the “NEED” spectrum in this regard. For the “scientific data” on this point go to http://www.kolbe.com and learn about the conative aspect of how you function and perform at your most authentic “YOU” level.

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Stacey November 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Well it’s no accident I ended up on this post! I just got back from your Gold Mastermind with a ton of things to take action on and what do I do? Try to read all the blog posts, tweets, status updates, ezines, videos, that I may have missed out on while I was away. And your voice repeating “just move, just take action” is playing like a broken record in my head. SO I will now close all browsers, trust that I will remember what I have gathered in the past, trust that I have gathered what I need from our Gold group and while hearing you say “everything you need is in you right now”… I am going to focus, write out my action steps and make it happen :)

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Christine Kane Reply:

Go Stacey! Cheering you on from here!

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Sally February 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Good grief – All of this time I’ve been taking Uplevel Your Life and I should have been taking Uplevel your Business!! Big ahahaaaaa moment:O)

[Reply]

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