I’m on deadline.
I’ve heard author friends use the phrase before. I offered them a slight bow and determined to respect their valuable time. In the ten years I’ve labored as an aspiring author, I had not used the term myself.
A decade of languishing in the wilderness without a glimpse of legitimacy brought me to this moment. I signed with a literary agent and acquired a three-book publishing contract, while working to complete two additional novels and edit a non-fiction book.
All within the past three weeks.
I’m on deadline.
Taxes, bills, and household duties loom along with my publishing responsibilities. Stress threatens to overwhelm the joy of actualizing my dream. If I hope to fulfill my divine destiny, I must retain a Christlike identity in the midst of pursuing my goals. I cannot allow my soul to succumb to fear and quiver bitterly in the shadows of negativity. Anxiety could easily usurp the rightful position of grace in my attitude. Yet, I cannot become so lax that I fail to achieve the goals laid out before me.
Success requires the power of focus.
With all the potential distractions clamoring for attention, focus can prove more challenging than it sounds. How do I extend grace while accomplishing my work objectives? When do I put my schedule aside, and when do I dismiss the behest of other needs? Setting boundaries and establishing priorities seems much simpler when you have plenty of time to do everything requested. When the day’s minutes fall short of the tasks available to fill them, some things must be surrendered. Good things. Great things, even. But I must take great care to reserve room for the divine things. Since God destines me to serve Him in more than just my writing, I must scrutinize each option to determine whether it poses a distraction or requires my attention.
In the coming posts, we’ll examine the empowerment of these points of focus:
Focus around you.
Share your goals and challenges with us. Where do you struggle? What helps you remain focused? I look forward to reading your comments.