“For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice—no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.” John Burroughs
John Burroughs is a legendary naturalist. His writings still inspire people the world over. He devoted his life to observing nature and inspiring others to realize its beauty and fragility. He lived a simple life and so it’s not surprising that the recipe he offers here for attaining anything worthwhile is simple as well, is it?
Work: It goes without saying that work is one of the keys to accomplishing what we want to in our writing life. But how much time and effort are we willing to devote to it? When we work with joy and eagerness, our work isn’t work, but play.
Patience: Sometimes it takes a long time for the work we’re doing to bear fruit. We need to keep at it when we hit plateaus and don’t seem to be progressing. We need to keep at it when we feel discouraged. We need to keep at it no matter what—and that takes patience.
Love: When we love what we do, the work is no problem. When we love what we do, our words often take wing and surprise us. When we love what we do, we can handle disappointments and setbacks. When we love what we do, the work itself teaches us what we need to know.
Self-sacrifice: Here’s a price for achieving a worthy goal that many people aren’t willing to pay. They enjoy being in their comfort zones and aren’t all that eager to sacrifice things they enjoy or want to reach a goal that may seem far off. But we all know self-sacrifice matters.
There you have it: A simple recipe indeed! It has only four ingredients: work, patience, love, self-sacrifice. We can bake this cake! Write on!
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