Lessons I Learne as a Writer, Part Three

06/17/2014 10:19 am ET | Updated Aug 17, 2014

I got my driver's license when I about 30 or 31 years old. Now I could have gotten it when I was in my thirties. Why did I wait so long, you ask? The answer is simply because I procrastinated. Yes, I procrastinated, and for years. Now you may ask, But why did you procrastinate, and for so long? The answer is, I was afraid.

Of what was I afraid? I was afraid of failure. I was scared of not being able to pass the Diver's Exam. I had never taken the test before. But I was afraid to try. So I prayed and asked God to help me get my license. Yes, I prayed. And I prayed for literally over 10 years, asking God to help me get my license.

What was indeed interesting was that someone had spoken with one of my pastors, letting her know they were thinking of getting me a car. She told them that I did not have a license. So they did not give me a car. Then a friend of mine told me that she and her husband had a car for sale. They agreed to sell it to me for $1,500. I brought it. But because I did not have a license, I could not even drive it home. You should have seen me, the owner of the car, with my brother in law, I in the passenger side of the car, while he was in the driver's seat. He brought my car home for me because I did not have a license.

As I would leave for work, I would look over at my car and say, "I will drive you soon." Then I would go and catch the bus to work. When I came home in the evening, at times I would drive the car around in the yard because I was told to do this so the car's battery won't die. As time went by, someone offered to purchase the car and for the same price that I brought it. I sold it.

What you may find interesting is that I brought another car. Yes I did. And I had my brother in law to drive it to my home for me, with me in the passenger side. Why? Because I did not have a license. Now, why did I not have a license again? Because I was afraid. Of what was I afraid? I was afraid of failure. You see, here in my country when taking our Driver's License Exam, we are required to be able to take a vehicle and place it between some cones that are close together. Now it is possible to get the cones in the spot between the cones and get the vehicle out. But many people had failed the test, and I was afraid to even try.

After many years of praying asking God for my license, I believe God simply got tired of my stupidity. He seem to say to me, "Sheldon, I do not have your license. The government has it. You will have to go to them to get it." I responded, "But I will have to take a test. And the revelation came, "Well, go and take the test" And again I responded, "But I am afraid I will hit the cones (the inanimate cones). And the revelation came, "Get someone to show you how to get in the cones." Finally, after over 10 years, I stopped procrastinating and did something about my situation. I got a driving instructor to show me how to do it. She immediately saw that I could drive. I told her where my concern was and she took me out by the cones and showed me how to get in and out. After about three sessions, she put in for me to take my exam. And I passed the first time. Many people don't but I did.

I could have been driving for years. I could have driven my own car. But I keep putting off what I should have done so that I could get my license. I was praying when I should have simply taken a few steps and gotten my license.

Now while this story may be amusing and for you, consider this: Are you procrastinating in your writing because you fear that people may not want to read what you have to say? Are you afraid of failure so you make every excuse as to why you cannot finish what you have started? If you truly want to write you will have to learn to Master Procrastination and get your book done. This is the valuable lesson I wish to leave with you today. Learn to conquer your fears. You know what you want to do. You know what you need to do. Now, Master Procrastination and get it done. You will be glad you did.