by Stephanie Nickel , CES Editor, Writer, Coach, and Critique Specialist
When I look around—and within—I realize it is a very human thing to look to the future.
When I sell my first article . . .
When I find a publisher for my book . . .
When I sign on with an agent . . .
When the workday is over . . .
When the weekend gets here . . .
When I finally get away on vacation . . .
Making plans isn’t wrong. Thinking ahead isn’t wrong. Looking to the future isn’t wrong.
But . . .
We are only assured of today.
Yesterday is gone. Hopefully we can learn from it and move forward, but it’s gone.
Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. If there’s one thing the uncertainty of personal struggles and global turmoil have shown us, it’s the truth of this statement.
I realize, so far, this post has been “a downer,” but that’s not my intention. When I was writing in my journal today, I posed a series of questions like this one: How can I keep my eyes on the Author and Finisher of my faith TODAY?
Let’s focus on today and go from there.
What writing project do you want to work on today?
Set a time to do so and keep the appointment.
What market for your work do you want to research today?
Even if you don’t have a market guide, there are countless resources online. Explore at least one of them today.
What small change will inspire you to write more today?
Make the change and move forward.
What “urgent” thing on your To Do list can you put off until tomorrow so you can be more productive as a writer today?
Scratch the item off your list and rewrite it on tomorrow’s.
What one thing you especially enjoy can you do today?
Don’t make excuses; just do it.
What one thing can you do to make the day special for someone else?
Include this on your schedule and do it. (Remember even the smallest kindness can make someone’s day.)
We mustn’t ignore the heartache and atrocities going on all around us, but sometimes we must take a step back. What can you do to distance yourself from the pain today—and thereby, be better able to take action in the future? (As a writer, don’t underestimate the power of writing to a government official, the editor at a major newspaper, or the readers of your blog. You never know who will read what you’ve written and change the world.)
Take a step back today. Take a deep breath. Determine what good you can do right this minute—and do it.