Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Check Your Pacing - by Guest Blogger JoAnn Carter

Today, I'm happy to turn my blog over to a fabulous author, JoAnn Carter. When you comment, be sure to wish her a belated happy birthday. Her birthday was on Monday, November 15th.

“In your heart you plan your life. But the Lord decides where your steps will take you.” ~ Proverbs 16:9 (New International Reader's Version)

Have you ever set out with a goal, a good and worthy goal, only to become frustrated to the point of giving up? I know I’ve been there—done that. Here’s a recent example… I had a plan. I was going to jog around the neighborhood (1.5 miles) before I hit my 40th birthday. So every morning, out the door I’d go. Bless my sweet husband, he’d come with me as a source of encouragement. However, no matter how hard I tried, it never took long for me to become winded to the point where I needed to walk. I was so disgusted after weeks and weeks of little to no improvement, I decided to quit. My husband, seeing my broken spirit said, “Do you trust me?”

I wondered where this was going but I replied, “Yes, I do.”

“Good. Then tomorrow, let me set the pace.”

The next day, practically dragging my heels, I followed him out the door. But you know what, a remarkable thing happened. I jogged around one loop without stopping! After the appropriate round of high-fives and smiles I stood amazed. I didn’t need to stop and I didn’t feel ready to pass out—granted it wasn’t the whole neighborhood yet, but I went as far as my husband asked simply by matching his steady stride.

You know what the trick was? Pacing.

Okay, so fast forward a month—I’m almost all the way through the neighborhood at this point (just a little side street left to tackle), the boys are back to school, and it’s time to dig back into my writing. I set my writing goals. I’m going to write 2,000 words a day and finish a novel every three months. I have BIG plans of going GREAT places. Guess what? It didn’t take me long to fizzle out. Instead of enjoying writing, embracing the gift of time the Lord had given me to set aside for writing this year, it felt like a burden, a chore! Then it hit me like a 2x4. My pacing was off! Granted some folks may write like a marathon runner, and have great success, but that won’t work for me. I want to love every moment of writing…explore the journey with eager anticipation…follow God and His stride for my day.

I’d like to throw out this challenge, if you’re feeling tired or burned out, check your pacing. Great things can happen if you slow down to enjoy life’s journey. I have proof—although my birthday isn’t until next week, I been jogging completely around the neighborhood for a month and a half now. If I can do that, I know you can face your own personal mountain! Remember the key is taking steps, even baby steps some days, with your focus on Christ.


*Quick writing update (after I wrote this post)—with these little baby steps, I’ve been offered a series contract for three Historical Inspirational Romance novels through Desert Breeze Publishing. The first book The Floating Palace will be released July 15, 2011. My year and a half dry spell is over. God is so good!


Author of Teacher’s Plans, By the Book, Sweet Rest, Smuggler of the Heart, Daniella, The Hamster Wheel, and Finders Keepers


JoAnn said...

Thanks for the birthday wish, Carol Ann. And thanks too for posting this with all that's been going in on the home front.

Hope all goes well today at the hospital. You folks are in my prayers~

Jillian said...

Happy late birthday and congrats on the Desert Breeze contract. Jillian

JoAnn said...

Thanks, Jillian!

Jenifer Ranieri said...

What a great, inspiring post, JoAnn! And how appropriate that it should come right during the down-swing of NaNoWriMo - when WriMO's, like me, who have fallen behind, are struggling to get caught up and, in the process, are losing a little of the joy of writing. Thanks for the reminder! And welcome to Desert Breeze. ;-)

Marianne Evans said...

Great post, JoAnn - great points to ponder (as always.) Congrats on the Desert Breeze contract - and God bless your efforts!!

Tanya Stowe said...

Happy Belated Birthday, JoAnn ... and btw, you're my new hero. Anyone who jogs anywhere at any pace has my admiration! I simply can't run. Thanks for the timely reminder on pacing. After months of transitioning to a new place, I'm anxious to get back to writing ... and will probably overdo it. Thanks to your reminder, I think I'll do better! Congrats on the new contract.

Diane Craver said...

Happy Belated B-day! Mine's in Nov. too.

I enjoyed your post - I agree - pacing is everything. :)

JoAnn said...

Well, Happy Birthday to you too, Diane~ :)

JoAnn said...


LOL, Believe me-- if I can jog...anyone can jog!

Hope your transition time goes smoothly and that you'll be able to settle into a nice, steady groove. Make sure to spend some time smelling the roses~

JoAnn said...


I hope you never doubt your gift of encouragment. You spread it around like wildflowers.

Thanks for stopping by!

JoAnn said...


Oh-- your a Mo. Wow... I admire anyone who is willing to reach for the stars!

In the midst of all that typing, I hope you can find joy in your work.


BTW- Thanks for tagging me on Facebook

Delia Latham said...

JoAnn, I so enjoyed this post - it is right on track. But then, I always enjoy your posts, interviews, could very well be one of my favorite people/authors! lol I hope you had a wonderful birthday - you deserve it!

(And Diane - Happy Birthday to you!)

JoAnn said...


You're making me blush. :)

For those of you who may not know, Delia is a fellow author at White Rose Publishing. Those gals over there are just great! Great writers and great people.

God has richly blessed me. It's awesome to be a part of such a wonderful, supportive community.

Clare Revell said...

I#'m doing nano. I had such great 100k, 2 novels of the series I want to put to WRP, but it's not happened. I've managed barely 34k. It's so frustrating when I know I can write a novel in 4 weeks as I've done it before. Several times. Instead I have 34k of rubbish.
The problem is of course I like to edit as I go, I'm a perfectionist. Things have to be right, even on a first draft. And with this they're not.
Course in one f the books my heroine is deaf which is a whole other kettle of fish and brings its own set of problems.

And as for running...the kids tell me I can't run to save my life as I get breathless walking up a flight of stairs. ;-)

Donna B said...

Congratulations and Happy Birthday, JoAnn!

Lovely post, and oh so true. The right pace for one is not necesarily right for someone else. This is why I would never try NaNo. My muse rebels against all kinds of restrictions or pressure. So merrily I plod along. Kind of like jogging around the neighborhood at my own pace. :-)

JoAnn said...

Donna and Clare,

Thanks for stopping by!