I stared at my calendar while nibbling on my lower lip, my finger tapping the table and my mind reeling with a decision. The warmth from the winter sun cutting through the window warmed my hands, making this decision all the more difficult. I’m a planner. I plan my work schedule, coffee dates, dinner with friends, even my down time. I started getting more into this in the beginning of January to be more purposeful. Not just for the sake of intentionality, but to see if a lifelong dream will come true. I’m also someone who hates to be confined by a schedule or rules. I like my autonomy. This new course in life was a particularly difficult challenge.
I believe we’re each given a gift, or talent. What we decide to do with it is up to us. It may not be as obvious as the gift that others have, but it’s there. One person might become an engineer and use his gift to help create water-purifying systems in third world countries. Another person equally skilled in engineering might use his gift to tutor college students. Both have a gift, and yet both use it in different ways. Neither is better or worse, it’s merely different. One of my gifts is writing, and I’m choosing to use it to write stories that uplift and inspire.
So there I stood, staring at the section of time I’d carved out of my day to write. If I was going to actually use my talent of storytelling to connect and inspire, I needed to do the obvious: sit down and write the freaking story. I stared at the calendar and then at the beautiful sunshine. The snow had begun to melt and there was no need for gloves, a hat and scarf. After a particularly bitter winter, I just wanted to go for a walk. So my decision, as simply as it was, was to write or to walk.
In that moment, I preferred the walk. Long-term, however, I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t continue in my discipline of writing 1,000 words a day. I could do both, as long as I didn’t mind half of the joy. The old adage, “I could write later,” came to mind. But after four years of sitting on my backside I realized that “later” was a synonym for never. If I didn’t do it when I planned and committed, then I’d never actually get anything done. The key to creating a habit is just doing it, once, every day, and refusing to let anything get in the way of it.
You don’t brush your teeth every morning because of muscle memory. You do it because you’ve been on the receiving end of a “hello” that reeked of coffee and looked like it was infested with toast crumbs. You don’t want to be that guy. I sit down and write, minimum 1,000 words a day, an average of 1,600 words a day because I’m tired of being the woman with a plan she never executes. I’m tired of calling myself a writer, but I never really write. In short, I’m more scared of remaining where I am, than I am of failing at going after what I want.
So there I was: I’m either going to believe in the scriptures that talk about going after my dreams, or I’m not. Do I believe God wants to give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4), that He’ll guide me (Psalm 32:8), and that He’ll equip me for every good work I do (Hebrews 13:20-21)? Or will I choose to make excuses?
I folded up my planner and tossed it aside, kept the blinds open and let the sunshine spill onto my kitchen table. Sitting before it I opened my laptop, reviewed my notes, and got to work. Today I’ll believe.