By Tammy Trail
Giving up is never an option. Sometimes a physical goal, like running a marathon challenges your endurance. A body can only do so much, and joints don’t last forever. Once they need replacement, there is always that chance they won’t work quite the same as before, and we struggle to do what we did with ease in the past.Perhaps you never had it in you to finish a race, a project or fulfill a dream. That brass ring always seems to be just beyond your reach no matter how hard you try to stretch out your arm to grab it. Your fingertips always brush against it without the prize in your hand.
I started to think that way about my writing. I’d start a story and get excited about all the possibilities. What kind of adventures could I create for my characters? What lessons do they need to learn along the way? I’d get so far with this and then the story ideas would fizzle like out like a spent sparkler on the 4th of July.
I’ve gone months without writing a single word or reading any resources that would inspire a new look into an old, lifeless story. Why then, when I’m sitting doing nothing, do I suddenly think of a scene for one of my characters in a story that I have not even thought of for weeks? Then I’m right back into the thick of it. The stories won’t die. It’s as if my characters are begging me to tell their story. How can I do them justice with my meager half-hearted attempts?
Then, one Sunday, while I sat trying to focus on the Pastor’s message, he said something that made me sit up a bit. “Focused intensity, over time, multiplied by God, equals momentum.” I honestly don’t remember the rest of the sermon. I was so caught up in pondering those words. Was God trying to tell me something? I wanted to embrace this new idea and the possibilities it could hold. Finally, I googled it and found out that a popular Christian life coach uses this mantra a lot. Could I use this in my writing life?
Discouragement is a tough pill to swallow. On one hand, I understood that to get to the level of writing I wanted to achieve I had to write. From there I wondered which writing project I should pick up or should I start a new one? I chose to start a new one, but that didn’t last long. So, I am working on a western story that I started a few years ago. Now all I need to do is get focused.
Back to Fi/TG=M, which is the formula for Focused Intensity, over time, multiplied by God, equals momentum. My focus needs to be so intense that I let nothing get in the way of my goal. With that intensity I should be able to meet that goal. But it will be a challenge.
Now back to the marathon runner. No one wins a distance race by running as fast as they can as hard as they can until they run out of steam. It’s steady progress over time. And quitting is not an option.
Philippians 4:13, I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” NIV. We all know this scripture. It is one of the first I memorized. When the formula is in practice the last step is to let it all go. Trying to achieve this formula on your own could cause burnout. You need to give it to God. Then HE will step in and give you what you need to meet your goals.
I am going to do this. Just watch me!