Last week I was working. I had my laptop with me in bed, I was wearing my sweatpants, a hoodie, and I was obsessing over whether or not a publisher is going to pick up The Day the Angels Fell (commercial break – you can purchase it for your Kindle right now for only $2.99).
I am terrible at… I have always struggled with…I am working on my ability to wait. Learning how to wait isn’t fun. It takes time.
There are plenty of areas of my life that aren’t exactly where I want them to be right now. There are many things I would wish into my present, if I could: a little more money, a few more projects, kids that all sleep through the night and don’t end up on your floor at various nope-o’clock hours. A box of Lucky Charms and a gallon of whole milk all to myself.
The temptation for me while waiting, with my personality and background and temperament, is to make drastic changes, either in an attempt to rush things or to so drastically change the game itself that what I was waiting for no longer applies. We’ll move! I’ll get a job! I’ll sleep all day! I’d rather blow up this beautiful life I’m living than sit around and wait.
This is a strange and scary concept I only just realized about myself as I typed that last sentence. I would rather change everything than keep waiting. See? Writing IS free therapy!
But instead of blowing things up and starting over again, I have to remind myself of what got me into this life, one that I honestly, truthfully, cross-my-heart really do love.
Trusting that God has this whole mess completely under control.
Consistently showing up and doing the work I can do (which for me looks like 1,000 words a day).
Choose hope (go on a jog or take the kids to the park).
Continue to believe in the necessity and power of shitty first drafts (thanks, Anne Lamott).
Embracing silence and releasing worry (don’t forget to breathe).
These are not concepts that apply only to writing. Maybe you’re a mom and the monotony or the schedule or the lack of adult conversation is killing you – keep showing up. Maybe you’re a business person writing your 100th business plan – choose hope. Maybe you’re trying yet another new idea – get that terrible first draft finished and behind you. Maybe you’re a pastor starting a new church and you don’t where the money will come from – release your worry.
But always remember – and this is coming from someone who’s been through quite a few of these waiting periods in my life – if all else fails, Lucky Charms will probably help, at least a little bit.