I hear it all the time…
Ryan, I’m not able to write the book, start the relationship, or build that nonprofit. I’m a busy person. Ryan, that might work for you, but not for me. I have unique circumstances…
I get it, you’re a special snowflake, and no one has faced the challenges you face.
But the reality is with creation we’re all in this together.
Humans are given twenty-four hours a day. We can only be in once place at one time. All of us have work, relationships, a need for food, water, and sleep. Not to mention the dog that needs food, water, and a walk.
The challenges are the same. We all need the same stuff and have similar responsibilities.
So how can we be more productive with the limitations and needs of daily life?
You start with the first thing.
Did you hear it? The first thing is always the next thing, next step, and most important step of creation. It’s so obvious that we often miss it and forget these foundational truths of creation.
The next step is always the next word, sentence, or detail in the project. Problems arise when we obsess over step nine, ten, or three hundred and thirty-nine. Those steps of creation will come later, much later.
Our situations are unique because we’re unique and our stories are unique. But the path of creation and writing and making things for the world to enjoy and doing work that matters is always the same…
Start here, and then go here, and then here, and here.
I’m sure woven into your story, and my story, are unique complexities and situations. Maybe it’s long hours at the office, a sick family member, or chronic illness. But wherever we find ourselves the truth is this:
The next step in your creative process, the next hour of writing your book, will be the same for you and me.
The path is always the first thing.
We have no idea what will happen after that. But that’s the beauty and fun and adventure of creation… only God knows where we’ll end up.
If you feel stuck and aren’t sure why the project isn’t going anywhere. Remember, just do the next thing. Don’t worry about step ten, worry about step one.
Ryan J. Pelton is a teacher and genre-nomad author with over seventeen fiction and nonfiction titles to date. He also hosts a popular writing and publishing podcast, The Prolific Writer. Ryan reads, writes, naps, and nurses a Diet Coke addiction, with his wife and four children in Kansas City, Missouri. Buy a book and send his kid’s to college.