Embrace the Slow

I am a horrifically slow writer. I agonize over words. Which word would be better here? How many times did I use the word “that” and can I remove most of them? Is it “affect” or “effect”? I quite literally hate spelling mistakes and I go back and fix them all immediately even though I know that while writing I’m supposed to let all of that go, just write, and edit later.

I don’t know most of the writing rules and I’m not yet in love with editing. I’m not sure I could tell you the difference between a preposition and a pronoun. I don’t always start and end sentences correctly. But I want to.

Haha … see what I did there?

It takes me the majority of Monday through Thursday (and sometimes part of Friday) to write, edit, and publish my weekly post. My writing time is early in the morning and I’m still pretty blurry eyed and sleepy, so maybe that’s part of the problem.

I’m so bad at the process.

At the end of the day though, I don’t think that really matters. I believe what really matters is that I show up every day and I do it. I just finished up a six week blog post series that I probably should have been able to write in a week. Some writers would have had the whole series done in a day. I’m not some writers. I’m me. I don’t have to imitate anyone else or try to do things their way. I have to show up every day, use the time and the gifts that I’ve been given, and do the best I can with them.

I imagine over time, as I learn more and I become better at what I do, the output of my writing will increase. I’ll be able to write more and better. The demands on my time will change. For now though, I am learning to embrace the slow. I’m learning to be okay with not having everyone know who I am. I’m falling in love with the process and the mistakes.

Because all of these things are a part of the bigger picture. They are all the necessary things I need in order to become who I am supposed to become. They are all a part of the process that is leading me to a life of passion, mission, purpose, and freedom.

The same is true for you, especially those of you just starting out in whatever it is that you’ve fallen in love with. Embrace the slow. Love the process. Enjoy the mistakes. Revel in the anonymity.

One day, if you can get through the dip, what you do will no longer be slow, the mistakes will be bigger, and will have an effect (hopefully I used that word right) on more people.

The only one in a hurry for you to be an overnight success is you. If you jumped the gun and got there too soon, you wouldn’t be able to handle everything that comes with being known. You wouldn’t be ready for the feedback, the effects of your mistakes, or the “fame.” Part of the process is learning to handle more and more.

Lottery winners blow all their money because they weren’t prepared for what a life with that much money should look like. Having a lot of money doesn’t make you someone new, it just reveals who you already were at a much larger scale.

The same is true of the myth of overnight success. You think you could handle all the requests, people, and time management that you would need to have in your life. You think your life would be so great. The reality is that is just not true. It takes time and effort to build up the ability to handle that kind of lifestyle. It’s time and effort that you have not yet put in.

One day you will have gotten there, where you’re ready and able to handle it all. It will seem overnight to some. You’ll know though, that you put in the effort and you worked hard. You’ll know that you embraced the processes, the mistakes, and the times when it was slow.

And you’ll long for them all over again.