The moment I hit the send button, I knew I’d fallen off the wagon; the wagon of planning and harvesting. Last week I sent out the same blog, “Move On, So God Can Use You” twice. I knew that it had been posted, but when I noticed it in the draft box of WordPress, I thought oops, I didn’t hit send. Yet, I had.
Then I realized I had not implemented or followed through with the advice I’d gathered over the last few months, if so I wouldn’t have skipped a week of posting or sent the same post twice. Proverbs 11:14 indicates that without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances (The Message). And I try to seek good counsel that helps me continuously sharpen my saw, such as creating an18-month plan to pursue my career goals.
In Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, she suggests making an 18-month plan for your workplace goals. But I don’t have a permanent workplace, so my new skill as a writer, speaker, and adjunct lecturer is applying for grants, fellowships, and residencies. Nick Flynn, author of The Ticking is the Bomb, also recommended I apply to and accept as many invitations as possible.
This new skill requires planning and research. When I begin to research, I’m consumed. This can be good and bad. The good part: being invested in the project. The bad part: forgetting my other responsibilities and deadlines. In order to stay focused, I started, but did not complete, an editorial calendar for angchronicles, suggested by Michael Nichols’s grow on purpose. He suggests creating an editorial calendar to write consistently and regularly. If I’d followed through, I would not have sent that blog twice—can you tell I’m annoyed? More than annoyed, I’m convicted, according to Proverbs 15:22 “refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.” I failed to set up an editorial calendar, and for the last few blog posts I’ve stayed up all night writing it. Ugh.
Another useful harvesting tool, I’ve acquired, but haven’t put into action is changing my writing habit. In Writer Unboxed it is suggested that if you are a slow writer, I am, then write drafts faster. For me this is not so easy. But to gather more crops, I have to speed up.
I’m planning to harvest advice, so my crops will be fruitful and ripe, not repetitive and stale.
Do you have some helpful advice?
Father, Send us wise counsel, teach us to listen, and remain diligent as we plan, fail, plan, succeed, fail, and plan some more.