The Three P’s of Success: Plan, Pause and Pace.

Apparently, one of the best hooks for a blog post is some sort of list with a catchy title like:

Three Keys to Overnight Success or

The Three Critical Success Factors or

Three Steps to Success to Take NOW! 

My first thought when I read this “expert tip” was Really?! Ugh. That seems lame. 

Yet there I was, a few days later, one my hour long drive into work listening to a podcast about creativity and planning and accomplishing goals. Hmmm, I thought. What is it that I need to do now, to accomplish my goals? 

And this is what I came up with:

Plan

Pause

Pace

One of the most frequent questions I have heard since I left my full-time job a couple of weeks ago with the intention of spending more time on my writing is: What is your plan? 

Well, my overarching plan is to write more.

I realize this is, in my case, both vast and vague.

And I am discovering – even this early on into my experiment – that there are so many creative projects I have begun over the years that are raising their hands and squirming in their seats like grade-schoolers saying, Pick Me! Pick Me! 

I am the one, The Decider as George W. would say, who is in charge of choosing who to call on first.

There is Nadine and her second book, already begun. Not to mention the dangling promotion of her first one.

And her blog. And website. And Twitter account.

There is Poetry. The complete chapbook, submitted and rejected once. Since that happened four years ago, (Freudian aside: when I typed that the first time i mis-spelled it and it auto-corrected to “four hearts ago.” That Poetry, so sneaky!), many more poems have been written and want to be a part of the chapbook.

There is the work of fiction I began over 10 years ago and have 70 pages of.

There is the watercoloring project – the new kid in class – the one I don’t know much about but want to get to know better.

There is the French kid – the daydreamy one with the charming accent and different way of seeing things.

There is Vinegar and Vanilla – one of my favorites – who also deserves more of my time and energy.

So, again, what is my plan? 

Well, I am not sure.

Yet.

Which brings me to my second P – PAUSE.

I honestly didn’t realize how many projects I had started, projects that I am in love with, enjoy working with, but that had been put to the side for any number of reasons. There may be more, too shy to raise their hands yet.

How do I choose? What do I want to focus on?

My plan is to pause. 

To pause and see what my heart says. What the Universe says. Which way the wind is blowing.

I will take some time to see each project again, with new eyes, new hopes, new dreams, and see which one I feel most drawn to first.

And then – here comes the third P – I will pace myself.

This third P is a challenge for me. I am a sprinter by nature. Go hard and fast and then rest.

Repeat.

But with all these enticing creative projects calling for my attention I need to make sure I pace myself. I need to be focused, dedicated, and deliberate.

I have given myself the gift of a year to try.

To plan. 

To pause. 

To pace myself for success.

Wish me luck,

Jessica


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