Sunday, April 18, 2010

NEWS | Expanded Site Now Live

The full, expanded John Herrick website is now live, with a fresh design at (Thanks, Pamsuella!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

INSPIRATION | The Day of Small Things

Do you harbor a dream inside? Have you grown frustrated because you’ve invested your days, weeks and months in something that seems unrelated?

Don’t despise the day of small things. Oftentimes, they lead somewhere. We just can’t see it yet!

Our lives have a purpose. We’re not victims of happenstance. We’re participants by design. And if we’ll keep our eyes open during the day of small things, we’ll learn small lessons with major ramifications down the road.

I worked in information technology for eight years. For six months—the months I had the opportunity to write training manuals and lead training classes—I loved my work. The other seven and a half years, I hated walking through the doors in the morning. An aspiring writer, I needed a paycheck and had taken the first job I could get out of college. Responsibility first, right?

I have a creative personality but felt smothered inside a technical box. You can’t reason with a computer and must play by its rules. I had no qualifications or training to write computer programs. After meetings, I’d return to my desk and flip through my little dictionary of technical buzzwords so I could figure out what the hell they’d just talked about. (And yes, I probably looked up the word “blog!”)

Year after year, I progressed along an uninspired path: database reporting … software programming … process analysis … project management. Some people thrived on it; I prayed to God I wouldn’t be doing it in 10 years.

A frustrated writer who had never written a novel. A writer who couldn’t complete a long-term project.

Until it hit me: Revisions, long-term focus, commitment even when the excitement wears off—the disciplines I needed as a writer, I’d developed as a tech guy. I’d learned how to manage projects that lasted months.

Could I use the same project-management technique to write a novel?

By applying the skills I’d developed as a project leader, I built a project timeline, identified milestones, estimated my completion times. Sure enough, nine months later, I was shocked to find I’d completed my first novel. For the first time in my life, I written something longer than 99 pages.

Without the day of small things, that first novel wouldn’t exist. Neither would the second. But at the time I developed those tech skills, I didn’t have a clue they could help bring a creative dream to fruition.

Are you walking through a day—or perhaps a long, dry season—of small things? Perhaps it’s not as small as you think.

Hope this helps. Never give up!