Becoming a writer takes a special brand of crazy. LOL. :-D
For real though! Making a career out of writing feels overwhelming and down-right impossible most days.
It can be so hard to navigate the emotions threatening to send our writing dreams careening off course.
Which is why I’m extra thankful for the theme rising up within the writing community. One of building others up verses seeing others as competition. The whole “community over competition” mindset in business gets my vote every time.
And while I’ve never consider myself an expert, I’ve made tons of mistakes in my writing journey. :-) As such, I’d love to share some solid truths gleaned from those hard-learned life lessons.
Hard Truth Number One:
Easy isn’t always Best
Listen, I’m all for the “work smarter not harder” concepts. But just because a certain avenue might get you from Point A to Point B with less time, less labor, or less heartache doesn’t mean it’s what’s best from a longterm perspective.
I’ve seen so many writers—myself included—soak up the workflows of the “successful-than-me” authors with the hopes of reaching the end goal faster and with the same flare they possess.
But focusing on someone else’s highlight reel will only cause you to add stumbling blocks to your own journey.
And if we’re always focused on racing to the end faster, racing past the lessons and experiences and possible memories, we cheapen the journey. We dim the dream’s overall outcome.
Now don’t get me wrong, gleaning knowledge and understanding from other's life-learned lessons isn’t a bad thing. Please don’t walk away from this thinking I’m downplaying the value of education—far from it!
But sometimes we can spend so long looking at someone else’s “success” that it clouds our vision to our own self-worth and purpose.
To aim for what’s best would require us to take the tools and the skills learned and then put in the labor, building into the dream.
Because we truly do have value to add to this broken world, and our dreams are needed to make a difference, to shine a light.
Value the dream by valuing the journey.
Otherwise, we’re merely existing as writers rather than fulfilling our purpose living as writers.
Hard Truth Number Two:
Invest in Patience and Endurance. The longevity of your career requires both.
Any dream in life requires a steadfast flow of patience and endurance. I cannot tell you how many times I've thrown up my hands in defeat. (Hint: I do it so often that I’m amazed I make any progress. *wink*)
But one of the hard truths I take to heart is the need to cultivate a steady flow of patience and endurance. One day at a time.
If I focus on the length of time a dream will take to complete, I can get overwhelmed and that icky feeling of defeat strives to choke me.
So instead, I make the conscious choice to focus on today. Focus on this moment in time. Choosing to move forward one thing that will build into the dream, whether that’s writing 500 words or simply editing one chapter.
Because I know that the sweat, blood, tears, heartache, etc. are evidence of my growth and strength. Evidence of the journey I chose not to give up on.
Am I where I want to be? Not yet. But at least I’m not where I use to be. I’m making progress, and it’s beautiful. ;-)
Tackle hugs all around
I stumbled across some interesting facts about olive trees that I found so purposeful for our chat here.
Did you know:
- seeds for olive trees take 40 days to germinate. Which isn’t any significant growth toward becoming a full-grown tree, if we think about it. But imagine 40 days the little seed spent just to germinate!
- olive trees need to mature for 3 to 5 years before they can bear fruit. It could take an olive tree 5 years before it is mature enough to bear fruit!
- to obtain oil, olives need to be pressed (aka crushed) and refined (aka purified) before they can be bottled for public consumption. But once ready, the olive oil can be used for multiple purposes! Such as (but not limited to), food / cooking, cosmetics, medicine, soap, and fuel.
Friend, please know that you may not be where you want to be in your journey. Or you may not have seen the level of growth in your dream as you’d hoped. But that doesn’t mean the entire journey is pointless.
Keep pressing onward to shine your light. Because YOU have value. This world needs the heart you have to share!
Please keep daring to believe in your dream.