I spent time getting better acquainted with a new friend last week. Something she said really stuck with me: “In this season of life, I am endeavoring to rest in and to truly appreciate each moment that God gives me.”
I don’t know about you, but much of my life has been spent thinking about, planning for, working toward, and longing after the Not Yet. Take writing, for example: I study to improve my craft, I map out a writing schedule and strive to adhere to it, I write and rewrite, I submit query after query, all to what end? Hopefully, to the end of a book contract and a paycheck! But often, I get so focused on the end goal, flitting around out there in the future somewhere, that I forget to enjoy the process. I fail to appreciate the place I am and the tasks I must do today.
A not-insignificant portion of my time has also been devoted to thinking about and longing after the Already Past. Take writing, for example: if only I’d studied creative writing in college, instead of math and science; if only I’d developed a consistent writing schedule ten years ago and then stuck to it; if only I’d attended that writers’ conference my friend recommended. I get so focused on should-haves and might-have-beens that I fail to appreciate the place I am, the tasks I need to complete, and the opportunities before me today.
Today, I need to read through the last sixty pages of the manuscript I am currently working on, and then I need to write 1000 more words. What a privilege and a delight to be able to write. Whatever progress I make – a gift.
Today, I need to begin assembling another query package. I don’t particularly enjoy putting together queries, but I am so thankful for savvy business people who embrace the challenges of representing people like me in this gnarly industry.
A fresh pot of coffee is brewing. Mmm! A warm breeze blows the sweet smell of the sun-soaked hay field through open windows. My manuscript is loaded. It’s time for me to get to work.