When Startled, I Become Scattered

Startled, the wild turkeys that were gathered in a field below the abandoned
railroad tracks I was walking began to run. They raced up the steep
embankment with their necks stretched high, leaning forward as if to
propel themselves along at an ever-increasing rate of speed, in search
of tranquility. But where? They began to scatter down the tracks. No one
to shadow until a turkey made what seemed like a brilliant move…
cutting to the right and down the opposite embankment. Soon others
followed. One-by-one they cut to the right racing onward, away
from danger, destruction, impending doom.

I do not know what prompted them to scatter. I could see nothing in
the field below the tracks. I did not hear anything. Yet they were
startled.

Life sometimes startles us. At these times our actions can resemble
the flock of wild turkeys. We can’t stop thinking, talking, pacing,
fixating on a problem, an issue, the things that don’t fit our plan.

The wild turkeys have caused me to stop and look at my writing
life. Writing is who I am, it is what I do. And currently I am working
on a book, a time-consuming endeavor with a sharp learning
curve, but because it is a writing project, I can comprehend the
process. Yet while I was writing articles for magazines and
newspapers something called “platform” came about. Now
publishers not only look for a good book idea and good writing,
but they also want writers to have a platform. A presence on the
Internet with a Website as well as thousands of followers on
social media.

This twist caught me by surprise when I learned of it. And like
the wild turkeys, I have been running scattered in pursuit of a
platform ever since. This Website was the first successful step
in platform building. Although I haven’t quite solidified a
date for the blog posts, I write them… but of course I love
writing.

Another important aspect of platform building is obtaining
email subscribers, but this has been difficult. It seemed easy
to do at first glance, but subscribers remain aloof. I get it.
I too am hesitant to subscribe to Websites other writers
create for these subscriptions generate too many emails. So
not quite sure how to gain followers, I have been working
scattered. Gathering information here and there and trying
the tips and advice in an unplanned manner. I am racing
down the tracks without clear direction.

Therefore, like the wild turkeys I am getting off the “race”
track. I will work slower, more methodical and take the time
I need to figure out the various aspects of platform building.
But that will not be my main pursuit. Writing is my main
pursuit, and I will continue to develop the Website as a
ministry. Write extra copy worth downloading, reading, perhaps
keeping in a binder as a quick reference.

It is so easy to become scattered. Racing around without
much direction to accomplish something. Striving like those
turkeys to complete the distance. I routinely turn to God’s
Word when trouble looms, indecision lurks, behavioral
issues occur. Yet so often I will race off when something
seems pressing, a must do right now. Startled by the
circumstances, I begin to race around gathering information
here and there to complete the task at hand. I become scattered
and forget to look to the Lord.

Contemplate Your Ways:
1-Have you been startled lately by a daunting task? Maybe
something new you have had to learn at work, a school
assignment, or a requirement for a promotion. What steps
can you take to keep from darting off in every direction,
scattered?