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Tiny Wisdom: Loving the Process of a Passion

“Never underestimate the power of passion.” ~Eve Sawyer

Last week, I began writing my second book. I originally intended to start a month ago, but life got in the way, as it often does.

In order to make my September deadline, I’ll need to maintain a high level of output and adhere to a fairly rigid schedule.

Four hours after starting my first day of writing, I felt I’d produced very little, and I wasn’t thrilled with what I’d written, so I started worrying about that.

What if I keep rewriting but still don’t feel satisfied with the result? What if I don’t choose the best personal stories to share? What if my stories distract from my points instead of enhancing them?

Essentially, I went into full-on neurotic writer mode, largely because I felt overwhelmed by the work ahead.

Then I remembered two important things: For one, I felt exactly like this when I started my first book. I didn’t know entirely how it would take shape, or if I’d feel good about it when I was done, but ultimately, I did.

I immersed myself in the process, and the process created the outcome—not my will, not my fears, but the act of showing up every day.

That leads me to the second thing I remembered: The point is to enjoy the process—not just to finish the book, but also to really savor the experience of writing it.

It’s bizarre how sometimes something joyful can seem like a means to an end, when really, the means is, in itself, an end.

The process of a passion isn’t just the road to an outcome, though of course we have specific goals in mind. The process is where the love is.

Raising a child isn’t just about setting them loose on the world. It’s about the everyday experience of nurturing and teaching.

Creating a business isn’t just about building a moneymaker. It’s about the everyday journey of the purpose.

It’s the same with restoring a car, or recording an album, or working toward anything meaningful with a concrete endpoint down the line: The uncertain moments that lead to completion are tiny opportunities for complete bliss.

We will get where we’re going—or perhaps somewhere even more amazing than we knew to imagine—if we show up and put our hearts in it.

In finding value along each step of the journey, we inevitably arrive at a valuable destination.

Photo by Wonderlane

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About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook seriesTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself, and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions. She's also co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you change your life. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • http://www.mazzastick.com/blog-3/ Justin Mazza

    Kudos on your latest book Lori. I was/ sometimes am the same way. I just keep my focus on the goal and forget the most important part, the journey. Learning how to enjoy the process has been critical for me to take on new projects and challenges.

  • http://journeyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com/ Madison Sonnier

    Thanks for the reminder! And I can’t wait to read your new book. I keep your first one on my nightstand and refer to it often. :-) 

  • ShaeC

    I recently started my second book … and it’s been almost a year of struggle and feelings of failure and not really liking it but muddling through … and then I decided to scrap it all but the first four pages (which I liked) and the basic outline – and I thought that would make it harder and feel like even more of a failure, but I instantly felt free, and motivated, and passionate about the project again, and I only have three new pages written, but everything feels 1000% better – which has turned out to be a lot more rewarding and important than my arbitrary time deadlines.

  • http://twitter.com/AlannahRose Alannah Rose

    Congrats on the second book (in-the-making) - I am so glad you are writing another one!  I hope there will be many more to come.

  • http://evolutionofadreamer.com/ Sasha

    Great post Lori, It’s exactly what I needed to read right now!  I have so many deadlines coming up that seem impossible to meet and the pressure just makes me feel even less productive, the stupid thing is I’m the one who set the deadlines! I need to get back to enjoying the journey like I used to when I had less work and stop focusing on the volume. 

    Thanks again! I look forward to reading your new book! :)

  • Reeney Oreilley

    Thank you Lori for the reminder!  Great Article!  I was busy working on writing up my meeting notes from the Board of Directors of Hestia Retreat which is a santuary and retreat center for women we are creating on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest. At first the task of writing up 4 hours of meeting notes gradually turned from a labor into a passion for the vision we are creating.  Listening to the tape recorder of the voices of the dynamic women that are helping create our retreat made me glow.  What a priviledge it is to help create such a vision.  Thank you for your wonderful writings Lori and I look forward to your next book! Much warmth and light being sent your way.

  • http://twitter.com/Grownupkidsonly Joanna Warwick

    Never a subject that be spoken of enough of ; great post. It is so easily forgetten especially in a world, which has become so goal focused!

    If we only focus on the end result it like saying: Im born and now I going to focus on my death (which is sadly what so many people seem to do in life).

    “The process is where the love is.” So true : It is also where the LIFE is ..:)

    Enjoy the process of your book, it may be a completely differently experience to your first one, because you are different this time …

    Jo :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Jo. So far, is it a completely different experience. Last time, I was actually spread a little thinner, so it’s nice to have a little more space around my writing this time around!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Reeney! I’m sure it’s an amazing experience–to be part of building a sanctuary like that. I am actually hoping to take some retreats next year, as I’ve never done one and they sound transformative and peaceful. Perhaps I will come to the Hestia Retreat some time!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Sasha! It’s such a great feeling to take the pressure off. The second I did that, I started getting into a state of flow. When I tell myself I don’t need to control as much, things have a way of taking care of themselves. Best of luck with your current projects! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Alannah! I’m pretty excited about this one actually =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That must have felt really liberating, to start fresh, keeping only the parts that really resonated with you. I know that free feeling you described. There’s nothing better than feeling unburdened by your own self-imposed restrictions. Best of luck with your new book! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Madison. I’m glad you enjoyed my first one, and honored that you keep it close by =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Justin! I find that stress slips away when I just focus on the here and now. Sometimes I do that more easily than others. I work at it!

  • Mario Filho

    Sometimes we are so excited about a passion that anxiety sneaks in, and if we are not aware of it’s presence we think that our passion exhausted.

    All we can do is be aware and accept that it will happen from time to time.

    Thanks for the great post, it made me aware.

  • http://www.TheCougarAcademy.com/ TJ Forest

    Hi Lori ~

    I’ve been thinking about your post since
    Tuesday. I couldn’t help but to extend your thoughts to the whole of life… at
    least, to mine.

    In particular, you write, “I immersed myself in
    the process, and the process created the outcome—not my will, not my fears, but
    the act of showing up every day.”

    Having endured challenging emotional times recently, I looked
    for the ‘magical’ key to set me free. I couldn’t find it. However, now that I’m
    through the ordeal, I realize the key, all along, was to be immersed in the
    process. By being immersed in my process – suiting up and showing up for my
    life – a meaningful outcome was created.

    Thanks for helping to connect the dots for me and bringing
    clarity to an otherwise messy process.

    Have a great week!

    TJ 

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome TJ. I’m glad this post was helpful to you–and that you’re through that ordeal!

    You have a great week as well =)

    Lori

  • http://twitter.com/CHANDRAKANTHA Jeevan/Mr.Gupt

    Hey Lori Dedi; really enjoyed reading this..as a fellow dreamer…it is always nice to hear about following our passions & savoring the journey while on our way to the destination..:-)

    On a side note; this new layout of ‘Stars,’ & sharing is pretty confusing to me…

  • Lori Deschene

    Thanks Jeevan! Can you clarify–regarding the layout? What’s confusing to you?

  • http://twitter.com/CHANDRAKANTHA Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    hey Lori Didi, sorry i didn’t see this until now…I meant the whole thing with commenting & the “Stars” instead of the “Like” Button..but i think i am finally getting it…though i still don’t really understand how the star thing really works..!

  • friend forever

    Lori,
    Wonderful article! I always love the Tiny Wisdom posts. The way you put forth what you want to say……. I don’t think you should really worry about not putting your points across wonderfully!!!! ;) You do an amazing job!
    The post rand very true to me.
    We so often become tie up in our goals and the achievement part of things that we forget to enjoy how we got there. The little things that I used to be excited about were spoiled by my negative frame of mind. I looked upon everything critically and judgmentally. And it gave me no happiness.
    I have decided to approach things this way. One step at a time :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much! I actually haven’t written a Tiny Wisdom in a while. Perhaps I will start up again.

    That sounds like a wonderful shift in perspective. I’ve been there as well, spoiling things with negativity. Focusing on one step at a time makes it so much easier to enjoy each part of the journey!