In Others’ Words: Where Are You Going?

I admit it: Sometimes I want to rush the process. I want to arrive.

The problem with that?

I end up all confused about my destination. I want to arrive there … and there … and there … and, oh yeah, there too.

I start watching where other people are headed (usually other writers) and I think, “I need to aim for that too.” Maybe it’s a writing style. Or an award. Or a number — like how many books they publish each year or how many books they’ve published in their career (as if I’ll catch up to that!).

My focus? At best, it’s scattered. And at worst, it’s g-o-n-e.

I end up doing a lot of things — and accomplishing nothing.

This week I am going to focus on where I am going. Right now, it’s all about finishing my manuscript and turning it into my editor. Nothing more and definitely nothing less.

In Your Words: Are you focusing on activity or achievement? What one thing do you need to accomplish today? This week? What’s your plan? 

Stay tuned for our third installment of the “When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan” blog post series. Author JoAnn Durgin is the guest blogger this Wednesday.

When Life Doesn’t Go According To Plan Goodie Basket Rafflecopter Giveaway: I’m putting together a collection of goodies — including books by Rachel Hauck, Deb Raney, and Cynthia Ruchti — & the reader-suggested chocolates, a journal, a Starbucks card … and more. Click on the Rafflecopter link to enter. 

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  1. Susan Tuttle
    April 22, 2013, 5:13 am   /  Reply

    Oh, I struggle with this. It’s a constant refocus during my day, keeping God in the center and asking Him for what I need to be doing. It’s so, so, so easy for me to slide that away to someone else and start to think I need to do what they’re doing–especially with my parenting or writing. And you’re right, then I get all messed up! Trying hard to keep it on Him. Let Him order my steps today, things tend to work much better when He does:)

    • April 22, 2013, 2:37 pm   /  Reply

      Eyes on Him … not how others do it (be that writing or parenting or marriage …).

  2. April 22, 2013, 6:20 am   /  Reply

    I think most people who want to be a writer actually want to have written. And I think this is true of anything. It’s so much easier to think about doing something and how it would feel after the (fill in the blank) is finished. They don’t want to do the discipline it takes.

    Great post!

    • April 22, 2013, 2:36 pm   /  Reply

      Indeed, Pat. Good insights.

  3. April 22, 2013, 6:24 am   /  Reply

    I’ve totally had patterns of setting big goals, rushing after them headlong, savoring fully, and then setting next and rushing off again. I am learning to enjoy the journey at each step. This week w/ eyes needing to recover have saved some tasks that don’t need close vision but will plan, plot, polish, dream in my mind.

    • April 22, 2013, 2:34 pm   /  Reply

      Happy dreaming, Dee … may it be a pleasant week for you.

  4. April 22, 2013, 7:27 am   /  Reply

    Beth, great post. As always. 🙂 I have definitely struggled with wanting to have achieved. If I had my way, my book would be out on query right now. But, instead, I’m figuring out how I roll when it comes to revising and editing. Still working on it. But, I’m learning through the process.

    The thingS I need to accomplish today are getting my blog post finalized and ready to post, finishing my chapter for my critique partners and doing a bit of research for my chapter. For this week, I hope to really solidify some character aspects for the next book I want to write. Sigh. Again, this is going much more slowly than I want, but the story will be better for it. 🙂

    Thanks for your thoughts today.

    • April 22, 2013, 2:33 pm   /  Reply

      Sometimes slow is good, Jeanne.

  5. Loree Huebner
    April 22, 2013, 8:47 am   /  Reply

    I point myself in the right direction and take it one day at a time…

    Love this post, Beth.

    • April 22, 2013, 2:33 pm   /  Reply

      🙂 I am thankful you were encouraged. I am re-reading what I wrote and reminding myself.

  6. April 22, 2013, 9:13 am   /  Reply

    You’re so right. Sometimes, we just need to focus on today, this week. Not next month. Not this year. I mean, we need to know where we want to end up, I guess. We have to have a goal. But I can get so obsessed in the doing, I get lost in that forest of trees and never make it to my destination.

    Been struggling with this some lately.

    • April 22, 2013, 2:31 pm   /  Reply

      I hope that today — just today — is going well for you, Lindsay.

  7. April 22, 2013, 12:01 pm   /  Reply

    I wish you well as you rush toward The End, Beth. Happy writing!

    • April 22, 2013, 2:30 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Keli. 🙂

  8. April 22, 2013, 12:24 pm   /  Reply

    Book Two is pouring forth, and I aim to get it down and under some kind of control. It’s a good thing it’s plotted already!

  9. April 22, 2013, 1:18 pm   /  Reply

    I’ve thought alot about this today. I know, weird, eh, I ponder things BEFORE I speak. It’s truly a miracle.

    One thing I have learned in the last 6 months, is that I am the only one who decides which way to move. Backwards, gets me nowhere. Sideways is just being stalled at a different angle, but forward carries me toward God’s plan. Going forward has no indicator of speed or trials, it just means I’m going the right direction.

    • April 22, 2013, 2:28 pm   /  Reply

      Excellent insights, Jennifer.
      A blog post in the making.

  10. April 22, 2013, 1:39 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, I love the quote you chose for today’s post. Very thought-provoking. Focus is certainly necessary to achieve anything…along with strong, hot coffee. 🙂

    • April 22, 2013, 2:27 pm   /  Reply

      And I am in need of some of both right now.

  11. April 23, 2013, 11:23 pm   /  Reply

    Oh, this is a good one for me.

  12. April 24, 2013, 9:23 am   /  Reply

    I’ve fought this the past few weeks. Do I work on my blog? Do I write that new chapter that’s got me excited? Do I work on my proposal to take to the Blue Ridge conference?

    I get up each morning and leap into … something. Maybe I should ask God for the day’s agenda? Hmmm, that sounds like a good idea! 🙂

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