August 30, 2016 by Dayo Benson
I can’t believe how quickly this summer has flown by. It’s been very busy for me as I’m sure it has been for you, too. I’m doing some reevaluating as we go into into the last few months of the year, which is so much fun for me as I love introspection and evaluation (typical introvert). And I’m working on a Life Plan. I totally recommend it. It’s great for thinking about where you are and where you want to be 🙂 Anyway, I’ve been a little quiet since publishing Pressure (Pure Passion 4), so here’s a rundown of what I’ve been up to this summer (apart from my regular writing duties of course):
I was a little worried about how Pressure would be received because it was the first thing I published after the Crystal series. I hoped people wouldn’t find it boring since there’s no ‘missions’, danger or supernatural stuff. However, I received some lovely feedback about it. My favourite was an email that said: ‘James (the hero in Pressure) has replaced Juda for me’.
I was like, ‘are you kidding me?’ I put in so much effort to make Juda mysterious and enigmatic and appealing in that dark, dangerous way of his. But it was great to hear that a lot of my readers are happy to move on from the Crystal series and are excited about new characters. I wrote Pressure in 2013 and couldn’t really remember much of what it was about until I dug it out to edit it. I think the way you feel when writing a book sometimes affects how you view the book. I was really unwell back when I wrote it, and I even spent a few days in hospital, so I’ve always thought it’s not a great book. But it’s actually pretty good (if an author is allowed to say that about their own book).
So many people I know got married. There was a wedding like every weekend in July. This is me at one of them. Some lady tied my head-wrap for me in the toilets because I had no idea how to do it but I really wanted to fit in with all the other women, ha ha. Believe me, the headache I had when I took it off at the end of the day was no joke.
Congratulations to the USA for winning, but how awesome were Team GB? I couldn’t believe how well we did. For such a small nation to come second and do so well made me so proud. I’m still in shock. There were so many things I learned from the Olympics. Life Lessons. I won’t bore you with them all, but here are a few.
Lutalo Muhammad – He was about to win a gold for Great Britain in Taekwondo but his opponent somehow managed to kick him in the head in the dying second of the fight. It was heartbreaking to watch Lutalo’s interview after it. He was crying and saying it was a low point in his life. I got on my soap box and preached at my husband for like ten minutes about how we have to be focused and fight until the very end. That interview was so heartbreaking because Lutalo was crying like his whole world was crumbling when everyone back home was so proud of him. A silver medal is pretty awesome. So I changed tack and started preaching at my husband about how we’re so hard on ourselves when we should just take a step back and see how awesome we are and how much we’ve achieved. It was so inspiring to see how much Lutalo wanted that gold. How much it meant to him. True hero.
I wasn’t sure what I thought of Shaunae Miller diving at the finish line in the women’s 400m, but if you want something that badly I guess you just have to go for it. The women’s triathlon was another thing that had me just staring at the TV in awe. Goodness gracious it looked painful. But it was also so inspiring to see their endurance and how they were pushing beyond the pain, pushing themselves past their limits.
Not to mention the ‘greats’: Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps & Mo Farah, who are just dominating in their respective sports. I think it’s awesome that they are older athletes, too. They’re not ‘old’ by any stretch of the imagination, but they are older athletes and they’re still swiping all the golds. It’s just amazing to watch these people. I get the same feeling of awe when I see Serena Williams still winning grand slams. Regardless of these people’s nationalities, pretty much the whole world supports them and likes to see them win. If I can be half as good at writing as Usain, Michael and Mo are at what they do, I’ll be a very happy author. I watched a documentary about Mo Farah, called the Road to Rio. The sacrifices he makes to be the best are astonishing. He couldn’t even speak English properly when he moved to the UK as a child. Imagine the self belief and discipline it took for him to get where he is. It got me thinking about how seriously I approach my writing, how good I am at fending off distractions and having just one focus, and my personal discipline.
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25 – KJV).
I like the NLT for this verse: “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.”
There’s another life lesson right there.
I did a 5K
My daughters think I’m an Olympian and won gold, ha ha. Let me preface this by saying I have NEVER done anything like this before. It was one of my New Year goals to live a healthier lifestyle, so I got two of my friends on board and we did it together. It was so much fun that we’re signing up to do it again next year. We’re thinking of signing up our husbands for a 10k. I’ve been dropping hints to my husband about it but he’s not taking the bait at all, ha ha.
Earlier this month we had our annual youth conference, Ablaze 2016, which was so much fun. My husband made the cool Ablaze gif to the left. The highlights for me were:
– My brother’s talk on salvation. I was wondering how he was going to approach it since it’s been done a zillion times and our youth group has heard it all before, but somehow he managed to make it fresh and inspiring and I really got a lot from the talk.
– The talent show. There’s so much talent out there. God has given it out so liberally. If in just my youth group there are singers who’d give Beyonce a run for her money, rappers who can write their own lyrics, artists who can look at a picture of Jesus and draw it perfectly, guys and girls who can create a whole indie movie, and much more, then how about the rest of the planet??? What are we doing folks? We all need to start using our talents.
I also just got back from a national church conference yesterday, at which I spoke to the young adult section about choosing a career. I used to work in HR and I have now quit my job to focus full-time on writing, so I have a lot to say about careers and success (it’s my second-favourite topic to speak on after purity 🙂 ) It was a lot of fun. Even more flattering was the fact that they all thought I was their age (19 – 21) Until I mentioned my husband and children, then they were all gasping in shock. Great for my ego, ha ha.
Anyway, summer is over now, so it’s back to serious work. I’m hoping to publish six books before the end of this year. I’ll try very hard to do it. I’m praying for God to help me to have more discipline. More about those books in a later post.
So, enough about me. How was your summer?