Friday, March 15, 2013

Life Lessons—The Ripple Effect


by Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D

I know most, if not all of you dream of seeing your stories in print. Sometimes it seems like you’ll never get there. You may even routinely beat yourself up for wasting all that time and energy stringing words together when you could be doing something else.

What you may not see is the ripple. You know the one. That tiny, hardly noticeable little wave your writing caused in the world that hardly made a splash at the time. A story here, an article there. A word count goal or plotting out your debut novel. Ho hum, right?

Thankfully, you have the ripple effect. When something ripples the water, no matter how small it begins, it always gets bigger. It just has to stay in motion. Don’t believe me? Fill your sink with water—umm, no, not dishwater, just plain H2O—drop a pebble in the middle and see for yourself what happens.

The ripple effect is a natural law and it affects your writing as well. Even the tiny word count will grow into a completed manuscript as long as it stays in motion. For those of you have been feeling guilty about not making enough progress on your work in progress, listen up!

If you wrote just one page a day, it would be that tiny ripple. But, if you repeated that tiny ripple daily, in 365 days you’d have your rough draft completed! Isn’t that amazing?!

Look, there isn’t a writer out there who didn’t start right where you are. They have families, schedules, sleepovers, jobs, health limitations, and blank screen syndrome just like you. They just discovered the ripple effect. They didn’t sequester themselves in a cabin in the woods for a year to write that award winning crime novel. No, they wrote in coffee shops on Third and Main in the 42 minutes they had for lunch, in the car while their daughter practiced her gymnastics.

The thing is, they did it. Pure and simple and their ripples reached the shoreline and a book came to print. I’d love for you to fully embrace the ripple effect in your own life and prose. Little waves make big impacts when they make landfall. Yours will, too. Make the little moments count. Use them to move you toward your new world. We’re waiting!

What ripple has your author-ship made in the sea of literature? No matter how small, share it here. We’ll celebrate with you!


Photo courtesy of Mary Denman
Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching (www.magellanlifecoaching.com). She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at reba@magellanlifecoaching.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.

15 comments:

  1. While I actually have 4 books out, I think the biggest ripple I can make as an inspirational author is to reach others. I love to help authors so I do a lot of judging on contests. As an Inspirational author, I'd love to hear someone tell me that they were touched by something in one of my books. To me, that would be a large ripple.

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  2. I agree with Kathryn. Our words and actions ripple out to others...Great post!

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  3. You are so right Kathryn. And then that person tells someone, and that person tells... and the ripple goes on. Congratulations on the 4 books and for being the reason people read them!

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  4. Great post Reba. Sometimes that dropping of the pebble is the single hardest thing to do. Yet, when I "make" myself do it...the ripples and their magic begin! Thanks for the inspiration and motivation.

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    1. Isn't it wonderful to know that Audrey? I'm so glad you understand the ripple effect. Thank you for sharing that!

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  5. Needed to hear that today. Thanks!
    Barb Winters

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  6. Makes perfect sense, Reba. Thanks for the encouragement for those of us who struggle to believe our small contributions truly make a difference.

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    1. Ellen, I know this is a common challenge. If we think about it, in God's big picture, none of us makes more than a little ripple. But our little ripple and God's anointing makes a huge wave!

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  7. After more years than I care to count, my bible study is written and published. I've taught it several times and seen the ripple effect. What a joy and privilege to watch Him use the words He gave me to change others.

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    1. yay Sherry!!! So happy for you! Congratulations!

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  8. I hope to write books in the future, but for now I'm using my gifts of writing and encouraging on the blog I launched in January called www.MiraculousLovely.com. It's all about God's amazing love for us. Yes, every ripple counts! Thanks for the reminder!
    -Nancy

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    1. Congratulations, Nancy, on that huge step of starting a blog. Just watch how the ripple grows!

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  9. Thanks for the great wisdom, Reba. Like MiraculousLovely mentioned, most of my current writing is on my blog, which I hope God is using to reach others.

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  10. Blogs are a great way to make a ripple, hone your craft, find your voice and sow into the lives of others. I used to think I'd never like blogging but , after blogging for a year, I am the one who is blessed the most.

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