My new book, Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well, will release soon. When I think about all that happened to reach this point, I’m amazed and grateful. The process involved hurdles, lots of them, and there were times when I felt totally incapable. Now that the book is about to launch, I look back and see life lessons learned, lessons that apply to more than book writing.
Following are insights on starting an endeavor and seeing it through to completion:
The impetus for writing Life on Pause began long before I pitched the idea to a publisher at a writing conference. First, my husband and I lived through the situations that inspired the central theme of the book—waiting. Next, I wrote an article based on what I learned during times of waiting. Then, I began to catch a vision that a book based on the article had potential. Finally, I did the required follow up work based on interest from the publisher.
With any endeavor, you have to gain an overall picture of what is involved, and the steps required to see the project through. The ability to envision the framework and sustain forward motion to completion are crucial to success.
The ability to envision the framework and sustain forward motion to completion are crucial to success.
During the writing of my book, I had plenty of opportunities to lose focus. Not long after I signed the book contract, a tornado ripped through our town, resulting in massive damage. Within a month, the pandemic upended our lives. Then came torrential rains, an earthquake, and family health crises.
Sometimes it feels as if every deterrent that could possibly happen descends at once. Remaining focused on a project under these circumstances requires determination and a plan. For me, that involved carving out writing time whenever possible, even if that meant getting up before dawn or burning the midnight oil.
Sometimes it feels as if every deterrent that could possibly happen descends at once.
Discipline is an area where many of us falter. Discipline is tedious, challenging, and not much fun, but it is necessary to achieve the desired result. You may have to put other areas of your life in suspended animation for a time while you implement the required self-control to complete the task.
Most of us like to be free to do as we please, but an interesting component of discipline is the more you practice it the easier it becomes, in all areas of life. Decide discipline is worth the rewards.
A continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition is the definition of perseverance. And you can be sure you will encounter one or all of those when you begin an endeavor.
In writing Life on Pause, the driving force was a looming deadline, but not everything in life is deadline-based. This means you often have to make the decision to persist even when there are plenty of reasons to quit. Keep moving forward, knowing the finish line is closer with each step you take.
Several months ago, my publisher decided to change the title of my book. Most people don’t realize this is a common occurrence. In my case, the title change precipitated some restructuring and rewriting. I followed through because I knew flexibility was key to publication.
Often, we aren’t flexible when things don’t go as we planned. We bristle at adjustments and are resistant, but so much about life requires the ability to accept and find positive aspects in change. Many times, God allows us to experience roadblocks, detours, waiting, and adjustments. Remain flexible, knowing that ultimately a new route, a new title, a new plan benefits you in ways you never imagined.
“So now finish the work you started. Then your ‘doing’ will be equal to your ‘wanting to do.’ Give from what you have.” 2 Corinthians 8:11 NCV
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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