Have you been in a place where you decide on some kind of process and then question it when things don’t work out as quickly as you’d hoped?
At church this Sunday, we talked about opportunities and how God uses current opportunities for future possibilities. This was a topic that spoke to my heart and reminded me that there is a process that leads up to the completion of any goal. My main takeaway is that I need to be faithful to that process and to trust it.
For example, I have a goal to be published someday. That means I need to be writing. I can’t get published if I never finish a novel. And I don’t have a good chance of being published if I don’t improve my writing. And I can’t improve my writing if I don’t write and read to learn. Every little thing I do, even writing these posts, is practice.
If I look at my blog publishing schedule, I can step back and see how it helps me in achieving these goals. Doing book reviews encourages me to read. Writing these posts helps me to step back and look at the technical aspect of writing and things I need to be aware of or improve on. My short stories gives me a chance to put into practice the things I’ve been learning.
Perhaps I’ve never thought about it in such concrete and helpful terms before, but if I step back and reflect, that is exactly what this kind of schedule does for me.
A few days ago, my husband was talking to me about something he heard on NPR on his way to work. They were talking about boredom and how essential it is for us to be bored in order to synthesize information and make breakthroughs. Our greatest ideas come when we have the space to be quiet, to step back, to reflect, and to integrate everything that has come our way.
The next night, when I went to work, I didn’t listen to the podcasts I usually do. I worked in silence (I clean office buildings after hours part-time), and sure enough, I came up with a new beginning to the fantasy novel I’m working on. It’s not perfect, but I had a chance to work through what I wanted out of the beginning of the story.
I’ve also been reading for others and been on two separate launch teams for new books. Through doing these, I’ve been approached by two separate professionals (one an agency and one a publisher) to do more for them in terms of reading because they love how I set up my book reviews.
When I started my book reviews, I didn’t know what exactly they would be doing for me other than encouraging me to read more and to share. Sure, I hoped that it would draw attention and more people would read my blog. Did I ever expect that people would love them and want me to help out with editing or reviewing other books? Absolutely not.
Have I spent time dreaming big about how this will lead to some grand opportunity that will slingshot me right to where I ultimately want to be? Of course I have.
What is likely to happen, though?
Likely, though, it will be a small step in the right direction. Maybe I’ll be able to connect with a agent more easily. Maybe I’ll connect with a publisher more easily. Maybe that won’t happen. Maybe I’ll just learn something else.
Either way, I need to stay faithful to this process. I need to be faithful to complete the next step in front of me. Even though I can only see one step. I can’t see up the mountain, but I know that a mountain is climbable – one step at a time.
What about you? What is your process that you need to stick with? What step are you on right now? How are you doing with that step? Is it going well or are you frustrated?