Dream Big, Act Slow
October 8, 2013 26 Comments
Have you ever seen a movie or read a book that just seemed rushed? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You just want to call that artist up and say, “You should have taken a little more time!”
Or when I do a project around the house, I’m more concerned about finishing it and moving on than I am about the outcome. So Sarabeth often has to come by later and fix the problem I made worse (drills, walls, and I don’t get along).
Or maybe you write music. Have you ever gone back to listen to an old track and just wished you put a little more heart and thought into the lyrics or the tune?
Let me tell you firsthand the importance of taking your time.
Last year, I achieved my dream of having my first book published. To my complete astonishment, it received raving reviews from everyone who read it (it holds a 4.5-star rating on Amazon). But when I went back to read it myself, with the sense of urgency out of my way, I couldn’t believe how much better it could have been! Thankfully, no one seemed to realize it, but I just kept thinking how rushed it was. This mistake could have been avoided if I had listened to my wife and slowed down.
So, I think my advice here, is to not focus so hard on the finish line, but concentrate on the very next step instead, and just have faith that the end is out there somewhere.
My book may have received great reviews – and I’m flattered – but, a year later, it’s still not a bestseller. And I firmly believe that that’s simply because I was rushing. Editing it for the final time, I was asking myself the wrong question. Instead of asking, How many pages till I’m done? I should have been asking, How many pages till it’s as perfect as can be?
Thankfully my publisher was kind enough to agree to print a second edition. I told him, “There will be plenty more pages and lots of changes to characters, and a bigger backstory.” To which he responded with an enthusiastic: “If we need to make it bigger, we can make it bigger.”
Folks, let me tell you this right now, and you can quote me: Unless Michael Crichton comes back to life and writes another Jurassic Park sequel or Susan Collins comes out with a prequel to The Hunger Games (can we petition for that?), when it’s revised, The Man in the Box will be the best fiction book you read in 2014!
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Do you struggle with rushing your dreams? What can you do to slow down? Share your ideas.