Just off a main thoroughfare in my town a sign proclaims that an intersecting route isn’t a “through” street. If you look far enough down the way, you can see a rocky hillside and a wall of trees.
In other words, a dead end.
Interestingly, though, the sign has never bluntly stated “dead end.” Or “no outlet.” It says “Dead End: Temporary.” And it’s said that for at least fifteen years. Maybe longer.
“So, Glynna,” you’re thinking at this very moment, “how does that stupid sign have anything to do with ME? Seekerville’s SPEEDBO challenge begins in just a few days and everyone is excited about it--except ME. No way can I write a book in a month. I’m not even sure if I want to write at all. I’m tired of setting myself up for failure.”
You clearly see that mountain up ahead, right? The bold Dead End sign, with nothing the least bit temporary-looking about it. So maybe your decision not to set aside the month of March to focus on your writing is a good one for you.
Or maybe not.
You see, although that street sign has said “Dead End: Temporary” for well over a decade, if you look at a city map--particularly one used by the city planners--you can see that beyond that state-owned hillside is another street that, should the earthen barrier be removed, could potentially intersect with an unobstructed extension of the “dead end” one.
And that’s been the city’s plan all along.
In fact, after years of negotiations, the state has agree to sell the property to the city. Which means, if all goes as planned, that Dead End will, indeed, have been temporary.
Yes, a long temporary. But remember, the definition of temporary is not “for a brief time” or “a short duration.” Webster’s dictionary actually defines temporary as “lasting for a limited time.” No mention of length.
If there’s anything The Seekers know about, it’s that a “temporary” roadblock can at times appear set in stone. To be an immovable and insurmountable mountain. When we started on our writing journey, The Seekers didn’t know if we’d ever be published. But we hoped. We prayed. We worked hard and persevered--and we encouraged and cheered each other on.
So let’s look again at the “Dead End: Temporary.”
At Lake Powell in northern Arizona, there are hundreds of water-filled side canyons to explore by boat. But as you journey through them, there are times of the year when you all but literally hit a “brick” wall. Dead in the water. That’s because when the lake is lower, the water isn’t deep enough to lift your watercraft above and between the broader bases of the canyon walls. But during other seasons, in a good monsoon year, the water rises and you can make your way farther through the stone maze. What appeared to be a dead end was only temporary.
Over four years ago, a friend who had once only dreamed of writing was inspired by my persevering journey to publication and made a decision to write his first book. He had obstacles to overcome and, due to life circumstances, at one point had to set his writing aside for a year and a half. But last week he let me know that at long last he’d typed “The End.” He proved his dead end to be temporary.
It’s true there are no guarantees that despite all our prayers, labor, and diligence that the mountain--the dead end--will only be a temporary obstacle. Sometimes God does say no. But if publication is in His plan, nothing can stop you. Except you.
So maybe you can’t write a book in a month. But can you commit to writing daily for a month? Can you commit to a predetermined word count and start building that writing habit as Debby Giusti talked about in her February 17 post? Can you commit to finishing a first chapter? Writing a synopsis? Prepping a proposal? Revising that old manuscript you stuffed under the bed?
SPEEDBO is flexible. Make it what YOU need it to be. Don’t let fear paralyze you, worried that you may fail. The greatest failure is not to try at all. Not trying is a signed, sealed and delivered guarantee that a possibly “temporary” dead end will be a permanent one. That the mountain will be immovable. Insurmountable.
The Seekers encourage you to sign up for SPEEDBO and use the upcoming month to get on board with your writing. To begin scaling that mountain and proving that the dead end looming in front of you is truly only temporary.
And if you do decide to give SPEEDBO a shot, all of us in Seekerville will be right there beside you, cheering you on.
Today, please share in the comments section the writing challenges you anticipate facing in the upcoming month--and how you plan to overcome them. If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my May 2016 release, “Claiming the Single Mom’s Heart,” mention it, then check the Weekend Edition to see if you’re a winner!
GLYNNA KAYE treasures memories of growing up in small Midwestern towns--and vacations spent with the Texan side of the family. She traces her love of storytelling to the times a houseful of great-aunts and great-uncles gathered with her grandma to share candid, heartwarming, poignant and often humorous tales of their youth and young adulthood. Her Love Inspired books--Pine Country Cowboy and High Country Holiday won first and second place, respectively, in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards. “Claiming the Single Mom’s Heart,” her tenth Love Inspired book(and the second in the Hearts of Hunter Ridge series),” releases in May 2016 and is available for pre-order now!!
Their Unexpected Love. Sunshine Carston is looking for more than beautiful scenery when she moves with her daughter to Hunter Ridge, Arizona. She’s looking for answers. According to family legend, her ancestors were cheated out of their land by the Hunter family. But when she meets Grady Hunter, Sunshine’s mission is endangered—how can she investigate the Hunters when she’s falling in love with one? When Grady’s mother becomes ill, Grady steps in to help her run against Sunshine for town council. But what will Grady say when he finds out about Sunshine’s investigation? To rise above the past and forge a future together, they’ll need a love stronger than any feud...