You Will Win If . . .
I wouldn’t say I am completely UN-athletic, but I was not remotely the best athlete in my school.
But, at 8 years old I won the jump rope contest for the entire second grade.
And even as an 8 year old I knew why I had won. Virtually every other competitor jumped too fast. Rather than the slow and steady jump, hop, jump, hop method where you jump twice per rotation, they were jumping once per rotation.
What I mean is, they were the hare and I was the tortoise. This was not a race to see who could get the most rotations, but who could last the longest.
Similarly, I had a habit of jogging every day, and one day a friend ran past me and actually laughed because of how slow I was jogging. But long after he was done, I was still going and ran further than he did.
When I was planting a church in my town back in 2002, it was slow going, and I’d estimate a dozen or more churches started and quit in the ten years it took us to get 500 people. None of them could handle the slow pace of growth in a town already populated with good churches. Our biggest accomplishment was not quitting, and once they were all gone, we were still plodding along and growing…slowly.
Sometimes fast growth is cool and necessary, but I never do anything fast. It’s my nature to pace myself and just keep going.
This is especially true when you are aimed in the right direction. If you are oriented toward the goal, then you can’t help but get there if you just don’t quit.
This is how I write. I generally write ten to twenty books a year with clients, and I never feel rushed, because I just get up and do it. I set a timer and write until it goes off, then do the same for the next project, and then the next. As if by magic, one day I look up and the book is done.
Slow and steady plus compounding interest is truly magical.
Think of your life and notice the multiplicative effect of steady progress. If you invested just a little each month in an interest bearing investment of some kind, one day you realize it has started making more money than you are putting into it.
If you are learning skills and stacking them together, then eventually the sum of those skills is greater than the parts. You become a highly “valuable” person in terms of what you can offer the world in trade.
Now think of your writing; this will apply on many levels:
Slow and steady wins the race – if you don’t quit, you’ll finish your project. You don’t need to stress about finishing; you just need to commit to daily writing.
Skills multiply in time – you will improve as a writer the more you practice, especially if you seek feedback. Joining a group or a course and cohort of some kind can be highly effective for this.
Many people want to write a book, but fail to start because all they can think about is how much work it is. It is a lot of work, but it never has to feel like it.
I won the jump rope contest not by thinking of winning, but by just continuing to jump, hop, jump, hop, jump, hop until there was no one left. Somehow by writing the same way, I finish projects constantly and move on to the next. I don’t know where I’ll be in the future, but I do know I’ll be steadily moving forward. God and His grace will decide where any of us end up, but we decide to quit or not to quit.
And Merry Christmas if I don’t write again before the 25th. I truly appreciate you reading this and hope you and yours have a wonderful time together celebrating the birth of Christ.