We live in an illusion of cause and effect. We believe that if we do this, that will happen. Our expectations match this myth. We have low or high expectations based on the perceived actions of ourselves or others. The myth states that if we plan and execute we will see results.

This week I’m in Black Mountain, NorthCarolina, for a writers conference. I arrived with no elaborate plan. Sure I’d picked a few workshops to attend and planned to meet up with my publisher, but what would I take away from the week?

As I prepare to head for home tomorrow I find I’m taking a lot away. Much more than I anticipated. After a brief conversation, I’ve begun drafting a proposal for a talk at two other conferences; I’ve connected with another debut writer with whom I hope to collaborate; and I’ve been exposed to a master teacher of the craft of fiction whom I will continue to read.

What these developments all have in common is they had nothing to do with actions I took—I did not make a plan and take action to accomplish these outcomes. There was no cause and effect. These take-aways could not have been planned. 

I simply made myself available.

This is how we must live. We must simply make ourselves available. Put ourselves in places, in environments where what we want to accomplish takes place. Make yourself available and see how The Maker will impact those you meet and move your work forward through your willingness to be present.