I’d like to thank the world’s most generous Ape for this opportunity to spend this time with you today. I don’t take this kind of stuff for granted. It is an honor. Truly.
A journey is defined as moving from one place to another. Some people do this with such speed that you may feel the wind bouncing off them, others move much slowly and then there are those who pace. According to Wikipedia, pacing strategies in track and field are the varied strategies which runners use to distribute their energy throughout a race. In a championship race, where the goal of the race is to win, the pace is typically slow at the beginning of the race and gradually speeds up. I don’t know about you, but I’m in it to win and for this, I must pace and so should you.
Writing is a skill and to consistently produce excellence takes discipline, lots of time, and motivation. Motivation both inward and external. Both from others and from inside ourselves. To produce something that is not just good to read but also a product that is professionally produced. Self-Publishing, Independent Publishing or whichever you prefer, is constant movement. It is ever learning, and always being teachable. So is humility: Ever teachable.
However, being an Indie Author can also mean burning yourself out if you let it.
If you start off too fast you can easily exhaust your energy or burn out. You’ve seen it. The person running takes off with the speed of light, plunging into the ground so fast you barely see their legs move. Then, towards the end, the person slows down. There’s no more wind left in him to finish the race.
Sometimes we need to slow down and capture the moment for what it is. Step outside of ourselves and see things play out as if we are not there. Then we can see our actions in their most genuine form, identify our mistakes and most especially, acknowledge those things we have accomplished. We spend a lot of time on what need to be done or should be done to reach that level of authorship (or whatever it is that you do. This same thing can apply to any profession) that we envision is representative of success that we do not take the time to appreciate the success we already have. Sometimes, when seeking to understand what to do, the answer is simply nothing. You don’t need to do anything. Just be still. Take the time to love what it is that you do.
I want to tell you today to pace yourself and to enjoy the journey. There is much to learn but there is also much to delight in and I feel often that we spend so much time on what needs to be done that we do not take the time to appreciate what has been done. I’m not talking about making up excuses for why you can’t work, being lazy, or becoming complacent. We all know by now that faith without works is dead. You can wish and hope and dream indefinitely but only action will make it so. This is basic and it is something that I am sure we already know.
When I say taking the time to appreciate what has been done, I am simply talking about taking the time to enjoy being the writer that you are. To really love what it is that you do. There’s much to do, indeed but there’s also much to enjoy. There’s meeting new people, readers, authors, and bloggers alike. There’s traveling, taking online courses, sharpening your skills, and being of service, genuinely, to your fellow man. There’s attending conferences, networking, and starting conversations that change lives. Sure, many of these things are more challenging than others but learning can be fun if instead of trying to “get through it” we take our time to enjoy the process.
Authors, take the time to enjoy the scenery. Walk by the flowerbed of your published works and reflect on how you got here. That’s a book sitting there. You wrote it! That’s amazing. Smell the fragrance of the rose bush, run your fingers through the soil. My dearest Indies, invest in endurance. To endure. Google defines it as “the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.” Yes, Self-Publishing is hard but that’s why we must take our time every step of the way. Stop. Pause. Meditate. Reflect.
Move not too fast or too slow, but pace yourself and when you do win, because I believe that you will, rejoice. Just don’t forget to set the bar a little higher so that you can win again. In this way, you can truly grow and in that process, don’t forget to smile.
Place your hand over your chest. Feel that? It’s called purpose and it commands you take notice. You are beautiful. You are hardworking and you’re important. Here’s to greatness. This year, be sure to stop every now and again and enjoy the journey.