Progress Happens Over Time

Today I was browsing Facebook and i came across the following advertisement. I’m wondering if you can see the problem with it?

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The problem is not the company doing the advertising. I would be very happy if someday i could be published by them.

The problem is that they scare off many potential writers by the to-do list they show on the computer screen.

  • Finish the book
  • Get it published

This makes it seem as though the key is to finish the book (as if that could happen in a day or two). In reality, there are more like three steps prior to finishing a book (their first step in the advertisement).

  • Write the rough draft of the book
  • Edit the crap out of it
  • Make sure that there are no plot holes (if it is fiction)

And it is the first of these steps that typically kills off many writers. Getting that first draft down on paper is no easy task. Often it feels like, “Well, I’d better do it all in one sitting, or else it is going to join the pile of ‘unfinished writing projects’ that is growing on my computer.”

It doesn’t have to join that group though. The photo heading this post shows rocks in a stream. And this is because even the Hebrew Scriptures speak to a scientific truth: “water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil from the land” (Job 14:19, HCSB, emphasis added).

Just like over the course of time running water will break down rocks, so also if you gradually chip away at your writing goal, it will most certainly get finished. The first step to “finish your book” is to chip away at it day-by-day.

In this struggle with you.

–Josh

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