My new book, JoyRide: Life, Death and Forgiveness was a three-and-a-half year journey. Writing is a joyous experience for me, but it isn’t something I do effortlessly. In fact, I compare writing a book to climbing a perilous mountain; both require preparation, tremendous perseverance, and fortitude.
During the “JoyRide” expedition, I was faced with brain draining and emotionally exhausting emergencies, numerous urgent distractions, and the typical self-doubt that belittles an artist’s work. Any of these could’ve sabotaged the project’s completion.
So, how do you reach a goal when it appears that there are hindrances in the way?
Here are five steps that helped me:
1. Pray. Most everyday that I worked on JoyRide, I began with prayer.
2. Evaluate why you are doing what you are doing. Is it worth the effort? In my situation, I wanted to write JoyRide to encourage those who are faced with great difficulties. Helping people became the purpose behind the thousands of hours of writing; this purpose kept me directed.
3. Write down two things: What you want to accomplish and your purpose. Everyone who does anything that’s beyond average has times of self-doubt. I call that critical voice, the nag in the attic. When the old nag starts criticizing your plans or work, tell her to shut-up. Because you wrote down your goals and purpose, you can look at them for reassurance and focus, and since your purpose is worth the effort, you can dismiss the nag.
4. Everyday, do something which will lead you toward your goal. Writers do their best writing during creative flows. On those days when creativity wasn’t happening for me, I read memoirs and studied topics within the field of writing. The point is, don’t stagnate.
5. Take one step at a time. Little steps, everyday, cover a great distance. When distractions occur, refocus as soon as possible and take another step. A book is written this way, first one word, then the next, and the next, etc. Achieving your goal is done in much the same way. You must begin before you can finish.
Wishing you much success and happiness always,