I recently did a quick personality test, one of those ones where you have to answer a whole lot of questions about seemingly unrelated issues and then they work a fancy algorithm in the background and it spits out a picture of your whole life; the complexity of humanity condensed to a couple of pages on a computer screen. Strengths are celebrated and praised, weaknesses are identified and highlighted as challenge areas to develop. As you can probably tell, I've always been pretty skeptical of that kind of thing and avoided such quizzes like the plague. That is until I took this one!
The results came back and their accuracy was uncanny. To the point of being creepy! Had these people spent a lifetime in my head, observing and monitoring me, making detailed notes along the way? Had they seen how I had been wired right from the dawn of time? They even used the same expressions about me as I use about myself. Like how about this for starters - '...prefer being called weird to being like everyone else'? Sound familiar?! It seems I am also the personality type most likely to have died my hair at least once. Given that I've had red, purple, brown, white and blond over the years, that also sounds about right.
But what made the most, more serious impact was the repeated mentions of being someone who loves to interact and work with others. To be so excited by an idea that others catch the passion and run with it too. It was an eye-opening, jaw-dropping revelation - I love to do things the way I do because that is how I am designed. I know that may not seem too profound, but to see my way of life expressed and characterized in black and white on a page was really quite mind-blowing.
You see, I love to work in collaboration with others. I love people alongside me when I work on a project, or to stand alongside them, cheering loudly, when they're busy with something. I take delight in connecting people with each other, creating networks and links where previously there were none. I love to contribute my skills to a project, but then to draw on the experience of others to help where I might be lacking.
But there was something else. Don't give me the same task to do day after day, don't ask me to run a marathon when a few short sprints will do. I lack the required 'plodability', the mindset that says slow and steady wins the race. I'm the hare, not the tortoise.
Put another way, I like to fly the plane but love having a full cabin crew on board. I like that I get to sit in splendid isolation in the cockpit of my imagination, dreaming up wild, world-conquering ideas (incidentally, one of the questions was about being someone who has lots of vivid, save the world kind of dreams. I had to AGREE STRONGLY on that one!!). I get to watch the world go by while I fiddle with the dials in front of me, figuring out what each will do. But then, just beyond the door behind me, there's a whole team of people making sure the passengers are comfortable. They check the cabin temperature and prepare the meals, they keep the movies playing and plump the cushions. They remind me why I'm the pilot in the first place, that I'm supposed to reach a destination and land the 'bird' safely. They encourage me to reach the airport we're aiming for rather than leave me flying aimlessly around a wide-open sky of dreams.
'In All Things - 13 weeks of devotions from Africa'
A perfect example of this kind of teamwork is the about-to-be-released 'In All Things' boxed set that I have been working industriously away at over the last couple of months. When my online friend and writing mentor, Shirley Corder, first mentioned the idea to me, I thought it sounded like a fun project to participate in. After all, it involved a team of authors getting together to create something special but the final output wouldn't depend on me holding it all together. What could be better? And now we have a fully-fledged set of thirteen weeks of devotions written by eleven authors, all bringing the flavour of Africa into the mix.
It's an impressive list of little books. Take a look -
The box set is already available on pre-order through Amazon. If you haven't already done so, order now! 'In All Things' is a limited edition set, and you really don't want to miss out. Click to order https://books2read.com/InAllThings
We really want to share our excitement about this box set with you, our readers. So we're inviting you to a PARTY to help us celebrate. Join the Africa Book Safari Facebook Group here and then log in on Saturday 24 October, from at 10am CDT / 11am EST / 4pm UK / 5pm SA times. You don't need a camera or a microphone but you might need some speedy fingers as there'll be plenty of posts you'll be commenting on as you interact with all eleven authors throughout the course of the party.
We were delighted to achieve an 'orange ribbon' on Amazon, showing that we reached the #1 spot for New Releases Spiritual Devotions categories. Isn't that fantastic?
So what's next? What other planes am I flying? Following on from the 'In All Things' project, a few of us from the same group have been inspired to buddy up for the NaNoWriMo challenge in November. No idea what I'm talking about?!
NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month held each year, not nationally but internationally, with participants signing up to try and write the target goal of 50 000 words during the month of November. That works out at 1,667 words per day. And I've joined! I'm a little nervous but feeling excited at the prospect of writing my first ever piece of fiction (nothing like starting with a bang, right?) surrounded with all the writing friends I've made over the last year or so. Thankfully I do already have a whole lot of ideas running round in my head, with conversations and scenes playing out in my imagination at all times of the day and night. Now just to get them into some semblance of order and onto the page...
A completed box set of thirteen weeks of devotions from Africa; an orange ribbon on Amazon; and a push into the world of fiction writing . They're all the benefit of flying with cabin crew.
Or, as The Preacher in Ecclesiastes maybe puts it better 'Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken.' Ecclesiastes 9-12.
How about you? Are you a solo pilot or have you a cabin crew onboard?