Most of us have seen that ancient quote by Lao-Tzu,
“A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.”
It’s a good motivator to get us started. But what about when you’ve been taking those steps for a while, and the journey of a thousand miles feels like two-thousand? Lately, I’ve felt that way about my book.
Don’t get me wrong! I love my book. I believe in my book. But it feels like high time for my baby to leave the nest and fly out into the world. Yet, I keep getting these opportunities to trust the timing. Thanks, God.
I know my past six years of book writing is a drop in the bucket compared to some journeys, and I’m glad I got to learn so much about the intricacies of writing, editing, revising, book cover design, ….. and the technical stuff – but let’s not even go there except for this picture.
The good news is that publication is right around the corner. I can see it! I have real paperback proof copies being proof read as I write this. And I am thankful. This journey has been worth every step.
So, What does it take to keep going, to not give up, when we tire of the journey? Here are some things that can help:
1. Rest. Take breaks. But don’t rest too long, because there’s that inertia thing.
2. Do something totally different. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, get outside and move! Use different parts of your mind and body. Stretch your legs! Put on some music and dance! (I’m talking to myself here, too.)
3. Get a fresh perspective – ask for honest and encouraging feedback. Ask for positive feedback along with constructive criticism. What do they like? What could be better?
4. Consider changes. Research, then trust your gut. Maybe there’s a different path to take that just feels right. For me, it was the decision to publish under my maiden name – a big, inconvenient step but one that brought peace of mind and forward momentum.
5. Break big jobs into small steps. In writing a book, take one chapter at a time or one paragraph at a time, and congratulate yourself for getting through each step. I have clutter issues. (Hey, I’m an artist!) It helps me to focus on one corner, counter, or table top and de-clutter that small space. Then I stand back and admire the “after” picture.
6. Think about the reason for the finished product, whether it’s a clean table top or a published book. What are the likely benefits? How will it improve your life or help others?
7. Pray. Ask for what you need, be it guidance, strength, balance, gratitude, or patience.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.
(Dr. Joyce Meyer)
8. Remember that “Nothing is impossible.” That’s what my father told me when I was 12, and it stuck. Here’s the poem I posted for him last week: https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/for-my-father/
What’s the next step on your journey? I’d love to know.