How to Survive the Long, Slow Road

These are amazing times we live in, with so much information instantly available at our fingertips. The other day I had an immediate need to know if there are ever tornadoes in the winter. It took me less than two minutes to find out that while they’re not common, there are sometimes tornadoes in the winter in Oklahoma. I needed this information, and I got it.

There’s always a downside of the instant information, though. You can instantly read about other’s successes and instantly know the areas you are not up to standard. Innocent research can lead you to believe that you are missing the mark, by a little or by a lot.

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

These moments are Make It or Break It moments. They are forks in the road, and you’ll have to choose whether to take the smooth path of Giving Up or the hard, rocky path of Pressing On. And I get it; you’re so tired. You’ve been working for so long and here you are again at the fork, and the Pressing On path looks even harder and more treacherous than the path you climbed to even get to this fork.

I’m tired today, too. Will this be worth it? I have no idea. If only I could take just a little peek into the future to know if I made it or not.

Here’s the thing I keep telling myself: I’m in a marathon, not a sprint. This whole writing career takes time. So. Much. Time. And I can’t count the years I was just thinking about writing. I can only start the clock at when I actually started writing. Which means I am still at the very beginning of my journey. The long, twisty, rocky journey that takes time.

Much of the internet attributes this quote to Jon Acuff, so I will too.

I am easily fooled into believing I made a wrong turn somewhere, just because I see someone else has had some success. The problem is, I didn’t see the road they took to get there. It was probably just as long as mine, and they probably started way sooner than I did. I am constantly catching myself comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle, and that is a career-killer, my friend.

So this is how I survive the long, slow road: I remember that it is long and slow for everyone, not just me. I remember that each step is important, because I’m learning new things and I’m building new muscles with every step. And I remember that I’ll need all that knowledge and strength when I get to where that person is, so I can handle the weight without it crushing me.

And I’ll bookmark this post to read again and again, so I can practice what I preach.

Keep on keeping on, friend.

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