A couple years ago, God used a gaggle of friends to convince me to tackle a massive task: authoring a book. Now, I’ve been writing my whole life, but scrawling pithy little phrases in my journal or blog is much different than conjuring 100,000 words about a land that doesn’t actually exist. Yet something in me knew this story had to be written, so I took the step….off a massive cliff of darkness.

As I began, it seemed for every step I took, another 500 steps materialized. I’m willing to bet whatever venture you’ve started – entrepreneurship, motherhood, sales, athleticism – it’s come with a similar truck-load of daunting, unforeseen components.

Thankfully after being on my path for some time now and finding my process, I’ve scrounged up some universal keys that made my journey much, much more enjoyable. 

1) Refuse to Blindly Accept Negative Terminology

In the world of authorhood, when a literary agent writes back and says “I’m sorry, your book isn’t for us,” most writers call this a “rejection letter.”

If I really stop to think about it, that’s kind of ridiculous.

If God has given me this project it means He’s the one who accepted me to carry it. Which means there is already a door to walk through, an opportunity waiting, a connection in the works…whatever is necessary.

A rejection letter?

This is a “release letter,” thank you very much. Because you are simply releasing me to find the specific agent (or opportunity) God has already pre-accepted me for.

Go ahead and review the terminology associated with your goal, and change any negative terms in your sphere as needed to align yourself with God’s reality.

2) Kick the Belief that you’re Accomplishing Something by Worrying

Believe it or not, our worry doesn’t add to God’s awareness of our needs.

Yet, worry has become like breathing for so many of us.

Day after day I’d sit down to tackle a few tasks, only to slowly become paralyzed by worry.

What must my family think of me writing instead of pursuing more income?

Am I being selfish by setting aside time to write?

Will anyone even want to read this when I’m done?

Worry ate away at the beautiful thrill I’d felt when God first kindled my heart to do this.

It may feel like being anxious makes Him more aware of us, because to “just relax” in the midst of our process seems…lazy? Irresponsible? Foolish? But what kind of good Father tells His kids “Just focus on these things, I’ll handle the rest,” yet secretly wants them to stress out until He does?

We need to let go of the feeling that we’re accomplishing something by worrying.

If we take time to check in with Him, He’s really good at communicating what He wants us to prioritize and what He hasn’t authorized us to pick up.

Worry isn’t work; it’s a waste.

God is giving you permission to operate from a place of deep inner rest every single day.

3) Make Finding Your Process Part of the Process

As an achiever, I can come down hard on myself if I don’t meet all my expectations. Yet time after time, something gets in the way of what I imagined I was “really supposed to do today.”

For instance, I expected I needed to jump straight into the “sitting down and writing a book” portion of the process. Because that’s what we imagine when we picture an author, right? A person sipping coffee while leisurely ticking away at their keyboard. So naturally I got flustered by the newly-discovered barrage of other author-tasks getting in the way of the real work!

Wait, before I can write the book I need to research my audience and genre?

I need to know how many words are even in a fantasy novel?

How do you find a routine to finish your book in a year instead of ten years?

Getting up at 5am every day and writing for an hour? Ok great! Will do!

Wait…this isn’t working for me…I’m a night owl, I hate everything in the morning. Everything. I must not be a writer. Real writers get up and 5am and write for an hour…

What?! Three weeks have gone by and I haven’t finished a single chapter because of all this trial-and-error and research crap?! I’LL NEVER BE AN AUTHOR!

But here’s what I discovered:

Finding your process is part of the process!

Morning or evening?

Quiet or crowded?

Days or months?

Deadlines or flexibility?

Music or silence?

Coffee first, or a brisk jog?

Try things out! Don’t assume the way someone else does it should work for you. Schedule actual hours for research and trying things out until you find your groove.

Honestly, there’s been few things more satisfying than finally discovering what works for me and thriving in that flow, but it took a period of trial and discovery.

Remember: this isn’t postponing the real work– this is all part of the real work!

Now go!

Speak truth, kill worry, be authentic and make the process your palace!

Jewel Hargrove
Jewel Hargrove

Jewel is an actor, writer, fighter (kickboxing) in the live and vibrant palette of Los Angeles. Her daily goal is to simply be loved by Heaven Himself. After that, everything becomes a beautiful side-effect. On a regular day you might find her chatting with birds outside her window, taking a youth out to coffee, crafting an upcoming role, or dream-wandering through the enchanted forests of her upcoming fantasy novels. For Jewel, the line between heaven and earth is more like a glittering blur.

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