Friday, January 10, 2014

A Deadline Come and Gone

by Mare Ball  Adventures in the Ballpark

Wow.  I haven't done any work on my WIP for almost three weeks.  This is the longest amount of time I've not looked at it in a year.   Here are my excuses:

Christmas celebrations ate a good week.
I got a cold/sinus/flu-type bug that knocked me flat for another week  (I'm STILL hacking.)
I went to see Frozen and Catching  Fire.
I ate too many Christmas cookies.
I lost my motivation.

I beat myself up about it for a couple days....and then, today, I sat down at the computer and opened my book proposal file.  That led me to check some other files, which led me to my blog, and then this blog.  I read in a former post that my goal was to finish my book by November 30.

That bummed me out.  My book is 75% done, not 100% done.  How did I end up at January 10 with a still incomplete book? 

I paused a long time before I wrote this sentence.  Because, I don't have an answer.  I don't know what happened.  Life happened.  Stuff that was not writing stuff.  Good things, and frustrating things, and time-consuming things.  I don't know.

However - I do know this: every day, before I'm out of bed, I talk to Jesus in my head and thank him for my cozy bed and the rest I just gained.  I reflect on the day before me, running through what I need to do - and I ask for His guidance and His blessings.  I invite Him into my day.  I relish that quiet time to connect with my Creator and just be still and be grateful.  I don't get up until I feel closure on that time.

Then I groan my way out from under the covers and face the day, whatever it's going to be.  I always have somewhat of a plan, but God likes to throw a wrench in that often, so I've learned to be flexible.

And here's what I've concluded:  In God's view of my life, whatever my day entails, He is pleased if I'm honoring Him.  If I'm doing my best to be patient and sacrificial and grateful, if I'm using my gifts to help others....He's smiling.  Whether I'm writing, or not.  Sometimes I'm writing, sometimes I'm cleaning toilets.  Sometimes I'm taking Dad to the doctor, or trying to make leftover hamburger and goat cheese into something suitable for dinner. In God's eyes, what I'm doing is secondary to how I'm doing it.

I might be bummed about not meeting a writing deadline - a personal goal of mine - but God looks at everything I do.  And to Him, the writing tasks and the non-writing tasks are equal.  So whatever else I spent time on that kept me from meeting my November was important too.  Time with family, movies with my girl, even sleeping for a week to knock out a nasty virus.  They were not insignificant events.  They were just not writing events.

I want to keep my writing in perspective.   I want to do my best, of course, to complete my book and get it published.  I pray for God's blessing on that.  But, I don't want to feel guilty or beat myself up if I fail to meet to a self-imposed deadline.  I simply want to do the best I can every day, at whatever I'm doing.  Writing is important, but it's not more important than everything else. next deadline to complete my book is February 28.  We'll see how that plays out.

How do you feel about failing to meet a deadline?


  1. I love how you said, "In God's eyes, what I'm doing is secondary to how I'm doing it.” I think so often we forget that. I also love your morning ritual of talking to God- I have that at night before I go to sleep- I can’t get to sleep without it. God and I have a chat. ;-) In the mornings I read an entry in a book “A Year of Powerful Prayer” and then I get on my knees to pray. That’s actually been my New Year’s goal- to get that morning prayer in every day. I was only getting to it about 3-4 times a week before. So far, so good!

    I have learned to be much kinder to myself, especially when it comes to my writing. I remind myself that as long as I’m doing the best I can, and as long as I feel I’m doing what God wants me to, then I’m doing just fine. I remember that beating myself up is counterproductive and a waste of energy- energy that would be much better spent setting and striving for a new goal. :-)

  2. Beautiful, and such an important reminder for any goals we set and don't meet exactly as we had planned. The adversary wants us to feel downtrodden and worthless and just bad about ourselves. So if we're feeling that way, it's not from the Lord. The Lord works through love, encouragement, and good feelings. I love your idea of starting the morning with these things.

  3. What a lovely post. I get frustrated with not meeting deadlines and I need to step back,, as you said and remember that it isn't so much what we are doing as how we are doing it. Thank you so much!

  4. I loved this post, such a great reminder to all of us thank you for writing it



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