Meanwhile, MiMi Aye (a City solicitor) started writing about Burmese cuisine, her obsession with pork and noodles and publish recipes and restaurant reviews on her free Blogger website. Last week she was interviewed by Jenni Murray on the BBC Woman’s Hour, cooked pad thai on the live radio show and had a launch party for her book Noodle!, hosted by her publisher. She’s got an agent, and dozens of willing brands are queueing to be associated her.
It only takes a few minutes to set up a website and start writing about anything you like: graphic novels, cycling holidays or dog whispering. Today’s technology makes it possible to become a published author, a movie maker, a radio presenter, a teacher or a music label quite literally overnight. You don’t need Mr. Permission to record a poem, because although you have not been to drama school and have no experience on stage, there is no one stopping you recording yourself on an iPhone, then uploading a MP3 file online.
This idea that you need a degree, a blessing from an authority, a permission to have a go at something creative, new or entrepreneurial is truly obsolete. So I suggest you take that excuse politely by its hand and march it out of your vicinity.
What’s left? Ah, Mrs. Experience. Mrs. Experience shakes her head and presses her lips. You know what she means:
“You may have ridden yourself of Mr. Permission, but if you want people to notice you and take you seriously, you need oodles of experience. You cannot just write, cook, design or teach if you have not done your 10,000 hours.”
Mrs. Experience is right - you cannot call yourself an expert until you put in time to master your skill, but the only way to get experience is to go for it and start doing it. You might say I had no experience in writing or broadcasting but just in the last 11 months I’ve written and published about 100 articles for Life Tonic and Ladies Who Impress, recorded a few podcasts and interviewed a dozen of women in front of live audiences. And now I call myself a broadcaster and a writer.
My final argument against excuses which may be stopping you from doing what you love (such a cliché, what I mean is: what makes your eyes bright, what makes time fly, what’s worth persevering with even on a sunny day and even when it comes out clumsily at first) follows. No one has ever asked for permission to become a parent (and yes, perhaps some should…) and no one has any experience in being a parent for the very first time. And yet most first-time parents manage all right, don’t they?
I have never heard of MiMi Aye before her interview on the Woman’s Hour, so it’s tempted to think she’s become successful overnight. Of course, that’s nonsense, because you can see it on her website that she’s been blogging since 2009. Mr. Permission and Mrs. Experience are great pals, if you are looking for excuses, but they are rubbish company for the discontented Life Tonic readers..!