In Search of Greener Grass
by Steph Beth Nickel
The grass isn’t always greener.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but, for one reason or another, never seem to get around to?
Maybe you devote a great deal of time to the project over a few days, weeks, or months, but then life happens, and you set the project aside.
Can I write? I can.
Do I have a plethora of ideas for books I’d like to publish? Without a doubt, from picture books to YA speculative fiction novels to contemporary Christian women’s fiction. And that’s just the beginning.
Do I have a number of manuscripts started? <averts eyes and hums>
Do I keep making plans to get back to writing? Absolutely!
But what do I spend my time doing? Not writing.
Will I get back to writing? That’s the plan.
But recently I discovered something.
At this point, authoring books may not be the call on my life.
As an editor, I help other writers more effectively communicate the message that’s on their heart.
What is it that lets me know that, for now, this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing? Comments like the following:
“It sounds just like me—only better.”
“You’ve not only made my writing better; you’ve made me a better writer.”
“I’m excited to begin working with you.”
What do you dream of doing? Are you currently pursuing your dreams? If not, have you made definite plans as to when you will begin doing so?
Here’s something else to think about…
Between your day job, your family responsibilities, and your volunteer work, maybe there are simply no more hours left in the day.
But others are doing it all.
I don’t want to miss out.
If I just got up an hour earlier…
It could be time to replace those thoughts. Here are some ways to do just that…
- As a Christian, it’s important to pray over our schedule and ask for wisdom as we create our To-Do List each day. Then…
- List all the responsibilities you have. Remember to include downtime and the needed “white space” in your schedule. We all need to recharge.
- Consider the people who benefit from the tasks you accomplish each day. While excessive people pleasing is at one end of the scale and self-absorption is at the other, there is a way to keep a healthy tension between the two. We depend on others, and others depend on us. That’s not a bad thing unless we go to extremes.
- Write down the things you enjoy/find gratifying about the tasks on your list. Beginning a daily gratitude journal for your life as it is today is a great way to make this an ongoing exercise.
- Honestly evaluate if there’s something you could cross off the list.
- Decide if the projects you dream of accomplishing “one day” are for now or some day in the future.
- Break down those projects you would like to accomplish into small, doable chunks. In this way, they won’t seem so overwhelming, and you may be able to add the less time-consuming tasks to your current schedule, giving you a sense of forward momentum.
Those voices that insist the grass is greener elsewhere and that, if we just try hard enough, our “yard” will be the envy of others need to be quietened. Guilt, shame, and discontentment do not serve as healthy motivators.
Let’s keep Colossians 3:23 in mind and do everything we do as if doing it for the Lord, whether that’s writing the next Amazon bestseller or preparing dinner for our family.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance editor and writer and an author. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’re invited to visit her website: http://stephbethnickeleditor.com/.
You can join her Editing Tips Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418423519384351.