I’m writing articles again for Demand Studios after a six month plus absence. I’m happy to report that I’m writing faster and more efficiently than I was when I stopped mid-way through my teaching year. The articles are better now, too; my Demand Studios report card reflects higher ratings.
I thought it would be difficult to get back into the swing of writing online articles – I was lacking motivation, doubted my ability to manage time and self-discipline, and I expected to be discouraged by feeling I was starting all over again. To my pleasant surprise, I fell right back into it like it was second nature.
Here’s what I’ve learned (or remembered) about process:
NOTHING IS WASTED.
Things we do have purpose, whether we recognize that purpose or not. Our choices direct our lives and our experiences shape us. After any absence and subsequent return, we discover that although we have changed and the environment of our return has also changed, what we have gained and brought back with us is significant and meaningful.
I worried that I would have lost the two years of self-study that I invested prior to going back to teaching at the university; I truly believed it was gone when I first sat down to resume article writing. However, I soon realized that what I had learned during my intensive self-study was a firm foundation that I could return to and use as a starting point to move forward. Things in online writing and marketing changed in the year I was teaching; strategies and theories that were once “solid” were now defunct. But the essence of the practice and the personal benefits of self-discipline and resourcefulness had somehow multiplied in my absence. Indeed, my efforts had not been lost; nor were they wasted.
Likewise, my absence was a necessary reprieve that my soul required. Not writing is not particularly a good thing and I certainly do not advocate it, yet my absence from writing was NOT WASTED. For me, although I can write from a thinking state, inspiration comes from a free and wandering mind. Crowded, suffocated, and crippled from the reins of administrative policies, academic politics, NO as the most commonly heard response, lack of encouragement, trust and freedom, my mind was not free to wander. So I stopped, hibernated, and got recharged. When I awoke with a clear mind, I could pick up the pieces that mattered and sweep away those that had turned to dust. In so doing, I was blessed with the memory that NOTING IS WASTED.
My message to my readers today is that no matter where you are in life, find encouragement in this knowledge that what you are doing and experiencing right now is meaningful. There is purpose, even to the pain and frustrations you endure. Your choices will direct your movements - either forward and away, or into new strategies for staying put; and these experiences will shape who you are. You may not always enjoy the process, but keep in mind that it is NOT WASTED.