Journey vs Destination

Family Truckster

When we last spoke, I told you about Lisa Bearnson’s instructions on how to find Joy in the Journey. And that’s really what this blog is all about, that’s what I am all about – the Journey. Many years ago I recognized that I often enjoyed the Journey more than the Destination. When I was little, the trip across Kansas in our wood-grain-sided station wagon was an adventure. Mom and Dad were waaaay up front, and my little brother and I were aaaallllll the way in the back, in that huge expanse. We had packed Hershey’s chocolate bars for snacks, but Bro & I discovered that they melted quite well in the sun, then we could squish the chocolate out the end and suck on it. I don’t recall Mom’s reaction, but I’m sure she wasn’t quite as amazed as we were at that discovery. We watched out the window for antelope and buffalo, and got excited when we actually saw one. Bro irritated me, I irritated him. “Mom, he’s touching me!” “Mom, she crossed the line!” We had staring contests. Mom instituted the “Let’s See Who Can Be Quiet the Longest” game, but neither Bro nor I were good at that game. But it was still a fun trip.

When I grew up and began to make purchasing decisions, actually getting something wasn’t nearly as satisfying as pouring over the details, making lists, researching the pros and cons. That’s true for everything from decorating my house to deciding which fitness watch to get. Again, it’s the Journey that brings me the most satisfaction.

My writing life may be the same way. When that perfect day happens, and I actually get a book published, will I be satisfied? Of course I will. You’ll probably hear me whooping and hollering all the way over there. But the Journey has been wonderful so far, and I expect it will just get better. My critique group has become my touchstone. Those women are hard on me – they tell me what I’m doing wrong, what doesn’t make sense, what I need to do better, but they also support me in a way that no non-writer could. Those I’ve met at conferences have shared their experiences, encouraged me to persevere even when the market is tough and have passed along their knowledge. The online writer’s community is also supportive and full of information. And then there’s the personal Journey. I’ve learned so much about myself since I began writing. It has made me a better wife, mother, person. I’m sure I have a lot more to learn on this Journey, but I fully intend to enjoy every moment of it and find Joy in this Journey.

How about you? Do you enjoy the Journey or the Destination more?

The Joy is in the Journey

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I went to a scrapbooking crop last year to benefit the Buddy Pack Program with the Central Missouri Food Bank and had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Lisa Bearnson, founding editor of Creating Keepsakes and entrepreneurial scrapbooker extraordinaire. Her keynote talk was on Finding Joy in the Journey. She impressed me beyond belief, so I’m going to share a bit of her talk here, though I am sure I am not doing it justice.

To begin, she told a little bit of how she got started. She was working as an editor for WordPerfect magazine. OK, let me digress for a moment. WordPerfect used to be THE word processing software. I took classes on it, I was good at it, and was even offered a job teaching people how to use it back when I worked at Central Missouri State (now UCM). I read WordPerfect magazine. This was all back in the late ’80’s/early ’90s, before Bill Gates took over the world. So, anyway, Lisa was working for WordPerfect magazine. She had lunch with a friend, was complaining about her job, and her friend asked her what kind of magazine she’d rather be working in. She said scrapbooking, of course! (my takeaway: wouldn’t it be nice if we could all answer that question so quickly?). She told her husband about it that night and he supported her, said let’s do it. (my takeaway: wouldn’t it be nice if we could always be supported that quickly, that easily and that unconditionally?) They got together with another couple, each mortgaged their homes for $50,000 and went to a publishing seminar, where they approached someone with PrimeMedia (I’m sure I’m spelling that wrong, but I don’t want to go look it up right now. I’d rather just tell my story. Bear with me.) He laughed at them, said they hadn’t done a year’s worth of market research. Said that they needed at least a million dollars to start. Said it was a stupid topic for a magazine. They did it anyway. It was successful. And that same company bought Creating Keepsakes years later. Apparently it wasn’t such a stupid idea.  Take THAT, Mr. Expert!

I loved that. So here’s what I’m going to try to do, and what I encourage you to do.

  • Don’t listen to experts. They don’t really know everything.
  • Do listen to your gut.
  • Don’t be afraid to say yes.
  • Do take chances.

What would you rather be working on right now? Seriously. Comment below and let me know.