In August of last year, I made a decision to lose weight. I was persistent in my pursuit. I watched every calorie that went into my body. I weighed out and measured food. I went to the gym and lost about 50lbs. I met a goal. Then the hard part, keeping it off. A few months ago, I noticed something wasn’t right with me. I was taking naps in the middle of the day and even with those naps, I was exhausted. To keep the post to a reasonable word count and reader’s engaged, I ended up at a cardiologist. Failed several kinds of stress test. During this time I was struggling to keep my trips to the gym consistent. I mean it’s easy to give up that especially when you have a good reason. Here is the thing. reasons for not doing something are excuses.
I told you I have struggled with my writing. It may be fear. Yeah, it’s fear. I’m not fooling anyone, but I can use my reasons for not writing outweigh my need to maintain consistent writing. How will I ever move past this fear if I stop and give into it? Sometimes, when I go to church I am sure God is speaking directly to me. Last Sunday, our pastor named his sermon: Quitters Lose Their Hope.
WHACK! The bump on my head stung a little, but I knew this message was going to hit hard. I kept some notes and I want to share something he said about being inconsistent:
“Now we have thought up a lot of terms to describe inconsistency: tired, too old, sick, too busy and a dozen or so more. We actually do not think of them as excuses for inconsistency–we think they are truly REASONS!!! In fact, most people seem to get a little angry when you question their “VERY VALID REASON FOR BEING INCONSISTENT!…” – Dr. Thomas Haney, Founding Pastor
I started to think about how easy it is to be inconsistent. I am so guilty of all those reasons and yeah even a little bent when others don’t accept them as valid. He went on to talk about the power of little things. You know like, writing every day, reading and learning how to be a better writer, working on your story structure, etc. You get the idea. How the small things we do are so important to our being consistent.
“Don’t ignore the power of little things. No one says, “WOW, listen to that turkey sing” [ an inconsistent gobble, gobble]; or “Let’s go down to the ostrich farm for some beautiful music.” [they give loud honks that are given in fear, or warning] We certainly don’t say, “Oh, look at that beautiful eagle soaring above us, I hope he burst into song.” [we expect his majestic cry it’s big it’s powerful – also not something we hear every time an eagle flies.] We do, however, from time to time while sitting outside take note of the consistent melodic sounds of the mockingbirds, larks, wrens, and finches. Even the coo of a dove is a soothing and pleasant song. Little things–done well are often like those little birds – they bring out the sweetest of blessings in our lives. ” — Dr. Thomas Haney, Founding Pastor
What I got from that, is even in the times when we soar like an eagle the world doesn’t see the little chirps we consistently had to endure to be able to soar.
I questioned, how does this apply to me, as a writer? Like all things, On the days that motivation is low, or I feel fear, or overwhelmed. I can always chirp. A character development, a few sentences on the page is better than nothing. I heard Jerry Jenkins, author say once, “You can’t edit a blank page.”
Be consistent if you want to make that goal stick friends. The little things matter. Every day you put work into your WiP you are being consistent and can call yourself a writer. It doesn’t matter if your book isn’t published, yet! You have to be consistent in your persistence.
I hope you are encouraged today my friends, write those words. Keep the pen on the page consistently.