This week I learned that Shadowed by Grace finaled in Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards in the historical category. This is quite a thrill because there was a journey to Shadowed by Grace getting published. As any author can tell you, each story has it’s own road filled with twists and turns.
There are so many twists and turns to publishing. Really to chasing any dream. Here’s a list of four things they don’t tell you as you chase your dream.
1) You will have to make sacrifices. At the time, those sacrifices will feel excruciating. But dreams rarely happen without something being given up in the meantime. For me, it was TV. Silly I know, but it was one way I could capture time that was otherwise being frittered away. So I watch Castle and Agent Carter. That and a few college football games. Oh, and the Olympics but since those are every 2 years, I’m good.
2) Caffeine will become your best friend! Seriously. Last night I was working on a list (more on that in a moment), so I fired up the French press, pulled out my favorite creamer, applied butt-to-chair, and settled in for hours of (mostly) uninterrupted work. Coffee and water are my friends. Coffee helps me going through the long hours I work, while water helps me stay hydrated and healthy (well, healthier). Many writers swear by chocolate — but, I’m not one of them (says the writers as she’s enjoying a part of Snoopy’s Crunch bar ear).
3) To do Lists are Your Friends — just not your best friend. This is my to-do list from last night. I’m in a particularly crazy time: my last module of MBA classes, grading tests for a class I teach, working on projects for legal clients, writing blog posts, and writing books and proposals. I am so grateful this is a season — but it’s not the first time or the last time I’ve juggled a lot. Or my husband would argue — too much. When we recognize the seasons of our lives, it makes a bit easier to buckle down and complete what needs to be completed in this moment.
4) Don’t forget the important things. Yesterday, in the midst of all the craziness, my 4 year old read half of that book to me. Yes, read it. With little prompting. And it’s not a book that I’ve read to him before. Exciting and terrifying and a great reminder that these days are fleeting. I don’t know what will fill them, but I do know I want to spend most of my times on the things that matter. Investing in my kiddos. Investing in speaking and writing. Helping a family adopt a child. These are things that matter for eternity. When I focus on the to-do list, I can very easily forget the most important in light of the urgent.
What have you learned while chasing your dreams?