Stick a Fork in June, it’s D-O-N-E!

Stick a Fork in June, it’s D-O-N-E!

This post completes the 2018 June Blogging Challenge! There was a new post every day in June. I must admit it is a small accomplishment, but an achievement none the less. I have learned celebrating the little victories motivates me to press on to the more considerable triumphs.

Why did I set this goal? It’s all summed up in the word: discipline. I tend to have too many “good ideas” when it comes to writing. I chase after them like an indecisive bird dog flushing out a covey of quail. I suffer from A.D.D. However, I am not talking about Attention Deficit Disorder, but instead, I have Acute Deficiency of  Discipline. I have a problem with placing my butt in the chair and writing. This self-imposed challenge, although my content varied, forced me to sit and write with consistency.

The consistency of posting daily strengthened my “writing muscles.” These blog posts were extra created content. I typically preach three times a week, and a majority of these sermons are written as a full manuscript. I find it helpful after outlining a sermon to write myself clear, so when I approach the pulpit I have wrestled with the text all week.  I know the meaning for the people then, and I have the message for God’s people now. Therefore, this challenge was very challenging at times. But its over. Done. Finished. I have conquered June.

However, I confess I did not do it alone. You – the readers – were in my study or beside me on the couch encouraging me to keep pecking away at this keyboard. I thought of you often as I pushed against the resistance of the blinking cursor. Thank you for taking this journey with me. Thank you for liking, commenting, and sharing my words with others. It means more to me than I can express.

Moreover, I would be amiss not to mention my biggest supporter in this world. Red, thank you for not killing me when I disturbed your sleep as I slid out of bed at five o’clock in the morning to pray and write. We all know how much you enjoy mornings. I appreciate the grace extended to me when I was working late to meet the deadline of the day.

Red, believe it or not, you inspired this month’s adventure. Over the years, I have watched you hone your craft and become a phenomenal photographer by challenging yourself to be better. You may not remember the conversation – I know there are so many – but when I told you I wanted to become an author I was gauging myself. I wondered if I had what it takes to pursue this dream. I understand now, although my aspiration is lofty, I have God and you on my side. I know both of you believe in me. Watching you and having you in my corner, I know I will succeed by God’s grace. With you, I am a better me. Again, thank you for believing in me. Even when I have too many “good ideas” that wake me before daybreak.

So where do I go from here? I am committed to becoming a better writer; to find my voice. This challenge has revealed that I can carve out the time needed to write and still fulfill my other obligations. Yes, I may need to drink more coffee, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

In the future, I will not be posting daily. However, rest assured I am writing. Now, my challenge is to use the daily writing habit established this month to work on my first novel. Watch your inbox because I may post a sample chapter soon. As far as the blogging, the posts will slow to a weekly rhythm instead of the daily hustle. I hope you have enjoyed the June Blogging Challenge as much as I have but stick a fork in June, it’s D-O-N-E!

 

 

Excuses Never = Dreams

Excuses Never = Dreams

At the moment, my brain is saying, “I’m tired, boss.” Over the last couple of days, my mind has put in some overtime. Not only me but all the teachers at Citizens Christian Academy are working on next year’s curriculum. However, a goal is a goal. Exhausted or not my brain is going to work a little more. I determined to deliver fresh content every single day in June. This post will be the 26th consecutive daily post.

So, what am I going to write about today? Honestly, I have been trying to think of a topic for over an hour.  I have been here before. Watching the blinking cursor taunt me from a blank page. It is at times like this I have to B-I-C. That’s stands for Butt-in-Chair and write.  It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile is, right?

Now, I think I know what I am supposed to write about today. Sometimes you have to grab those inklings in your thoughts and force them kicking and screaming on to the page (or screen). Writing is sweaty work. My shirt may be dry, but my mind is perspiring. But it’s in moments like these that form you as a writer, as a person.

Do I cower to the flashing cursor? Never! When you’re tempted to give in is when you have to revisit why you began the journey. I started this challenge to break the back of the excuse of not having enough time. I started this journey to force myself to focus on the craft of writing. I began this quest to silence the questions of self-doubt.  I must write until my words overtalk the inner critic. (He’s a nasty fellow.) I am pursuing this for the sake of falling in love with the process of putting words on a page.

From childhood, I have dreamed about being a prolific writer. This month, I am taking the first step in seizing the slippery aspiration of authorhood by the throat. I am a writer now. Lord willing, I will be a published author soon. Nevertheless, I will have fun chasing this dream.

Aha! I am at 366 words. Take that blinking cursor. With every keystroke, I am pushing against your resistance. You’re only making me stronger. My mind screamed,

“I’m tired.”

“You’ve worked hard enough today.”

“Take a day off. Nobody will notice.”

“It’s not like they’ll read it anyway.”

Butt in the chair and write. Push past the noise to a place where the words flow. It takes faith, perseverance, and in my case a little coffee to achieve anything noteworthy.

You may not be a writer, but I know you have a dream. An ambition that gnaws at you from the inside. Will it ever be a reality? That’s up to you. It may be as simple as getting healthier or as big as pursuing your dream job. DON’T let the excuses stop you. Say a prayer to Jesus and press forward. It will be worth it in the end.

You know my struggle now. Opening up about your goals is a vulnerable place, but it does bring with it a sense of accountability. What is your passion? Are you pursuing it? Why not? I would love to hear from you in the comments. Commenting and letting others in on your goal may be your first step in the pursuing your dreams. You never know.

That’s 590 words, cursor.