Keep Doing What You’re Doing

I have a tendency towards impatience. If some new idea or project doesn’t take off immediately, I’m ready to rate it as a failure and run off in a new direction. At least that’s what I used to do a lot more often. I’ve learned from past mistakes.

Novelty and hoping that if you throw enough mud (or some other substance) up against the wall, some of it might stick isn’t always the best formula for success. Being entrepreneurial does require being somewhat risk averse, however.

When you release a new book, propose an investigative story to an editor at a publication, or pitch new projects hoping to keep enough work in your freelance pipeline to stay afloat, it’s easy to think nothing’s happening. Sometimes the phone doesn’t ring today, or email seems like it’s broken. Tomorrow’s sunrise always offers new possibilities.

Much of my 2014 has been a test in staying the course. I’m learning that remaining consistent and continuing to trust the process is the only way forward. The alternative, I suppose, is another dead-end 9 to 5 gig, where I wouldn’t be any happier. I might be a bit less worried at times—or maybe not.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” is a phrase that a late uncle liked to use, basically saying that “things take time.”

My son, Mark, has another one he likes to use with his dad when he’s ready to change course, charging off towards some new windmill.

“Keep on doing what you’re doing.”

Tuesday and Wednesday brought a bit of discouragement. Yesterday was a reminder that staying consistent is working.

Don't go tilting at new windmills.

Don’t go tilting at new windmills.

One thought on “Keep Doing What You’re Doing

  1. Rather a famous windmill to go a-tilting at:

    Ha’nacker Mill

    SALLY is gone that was so kindly,
    Sally is gone from Ha’nacker Hill
    And the Briar grows ever since then so blindly;
    And ever since then the clapper is still…
    And the sweeps have fallen from Ha’nacker Mill.

    Ha’nacker Hill is in Desolation:
    Ruin a-top and a field unploughed.
    And Spirits that call on a fallen nation,
    Spirits that loved her calling aloud,
    Spirits abroad in a windy cloud.

    Spirits that call and no one answers —
    Ha’nacker’s down and England’s done.
    Wind and Thistle for pipe and dancers,
    And never a ploughman under the Sun:
    Never a ploughman. Never a one.

    A great deal of time and effort, and I suppose money, has gone into keeping Halnacker Mill looking so good, and yet these days it does nothing but spin. It doesn’t grind corn, it doesn’t pump water (not from its hilltop it doesn’t), and it doesn’t even generate electricity for a nearby household. It is, for now, purely aesthetic, even though it’s far lovelier than it was when HIlaire Belloc memorialised it.

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