The Hensley Plan

On my 30th birthday (a year and a half ago) I made a committed to pursue the dreams and talents that I have in a more focused way during the next 30 years of my life.

Since I was a kid I have wanted to teach and to write. I didn’t want to write books for the sake of books or write for the sake of proving the wealth of my intelligence. I wanted to write because I wanted to be like Thomas Paine. I want to write the pamphlet, or paper, that starts a revolution.

Even to this day it’s often on my mind. I have a stack of 30 notepads in my desk filled with ideas, stories, and musings birthed in times of prayer and studying the word. I pray, fast, seek God’s heart because I love Him, but with the added request that He use me as an instrument to prophecy His heart to this generation.

Stack of journals and notebooks

When I turned 30 I had some time to reflect. In reflection I realized that while I was putting forth the effort in dreaming, praying, and some study about being a teacher/ writer. I needed to implement some practical disciplines in order to make it happen. I was reminded of Thomas Jefferson and Jonathan Edwards’ plans. Jefferson would spend 12 hours a day studying and writing. He broke down each hour of the day by subject he would study, and the subjects were vast in genre. Edwards very similar. So I came up with a plan that I knew would take a few years to get going, but if I kept aiming for it I figured I could build the discipline by the time I was 35. Here is that plan:

1. Read a Book a week.

2. Write 3,000 words a day. (on anything. It can be journaling. But it has to be in a proper writing format.)

3. Write a book a year.

I share this for 2 reasons, both are selfish.

First reason, I know the more I talk about this online the more folks ask me about it, therefore the more I’m challenged to stay the course.

Second reason, I want to challenge other writers/ teachers/ leaders to take on the challenge. Not just because it’s a great discipline, but like the first, the more folks who are doing it and talking about it the less I am let off the hook.

At 31 years old I have 4 more years to nail this down. I’m probably at a book every 2 weeks and 3,000 every 3 days. While I have written an outline for a book, I have little hope of it being finished this year. The point isn’t to be perfect at it, the point is to aim for it. If this is always the aim, and I don’t quit after failing to do it the first year, I have a chance at living up to it.

So take the Hensley Challenge and let me know about it, so we can push each other to be excellent!

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Thomas Paine and What Dreams May Come

My friend Kyle made a new years type resolution to blog once everyday this year. Jealous as I am of such a resolve, I’m considering making the same type of resolution. Not because I have an inflated view of my own opinions that you the reader need to hear, but because I’m a writer. At least I aspire to be a writer, but not in the form you may be thinking.

When I was in highschool I was a history geek. Actually I AM a history geek, and always have been. There, that’s better stated. However in High School I dreamed of being Thomas Paine. I admire many of our revolutionary fore-fathers but Paine always stuck out to me. He sparked a revolution with a pen. His book “Common Sense” helped give the colonists in Boston and elsewhere the courage to fight Britain. At 16 I dreamed of being a revolutionary like Paine who would one day write a book, or pamphlet, or blog post that would spark a revolution/ revival in this nation.

I admire Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Who after living through the nightmare of Stalin and Kruschev and their oppressive reign on their own people, resolved to inform a public that deified such monsters of their evils. His books “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” and His series “The Gulag  Archipelago” shed light on the Soviet Union celebrated leaders as to just how wicked their reigns really were. Though they’re were many economic and political reasons that brought the Soviet Union to it’s knees, Solzhenitsyn’s works gave people the desire and resolve to see a social-political change.

Maybe it’s blind ambition, maybe it’s a calling from God, maybe it’s that I grew up watching too many hero type movies as a kid where one man has the ability to cause great change, maybe I have an over inflated sense of self worth, maybe I just like run-on sentences. Either way I don’t yet have a revolution to write for. I don’t have a large government conspiracy to uncover. But I do have this blog, and for whatever reason do have a lot of readers. At  least that’s what the statistics say. So in the name of learning how to write better, and giving myself a daily writing assignment, my resolution this year is to write 5 posts a week. I don’t promise that every post will be filled with deep meaning or life changing content, but I do hope some posts will.

So get used to having me around again. This blog is back in full effect.

peace out peeps.