Friday, July 2, 2010

Running round & round & round that circle



I do a lot of listening to (or reading about) writers—both published writers and as yet unpublished writers.


And what I hear is a lot of “what if” and “if only” and “If I could just” and “So and So is doing this and that’s what I want” and “Why can’t I?,” and Et Cetera. I’m not immune to it, but I am growing ever more Aware of it. Circuitous thinking, round and round it goes, endless. Our desires are always a step farther than our needs, just round that curved corner we can’t see from where we are.


Funny thing is, we don’t remember when we were wishing for that something because when we reached that goal, we were already circling to find the next thing, and that for which we wished for prior has already been left behind.


Don’t get me wrong, having goals and wanting success is not a bad thing. What I am talking about is our discontent or dissatisfaction with what is happening right now; you know, that thing we had wanted to achieve so very much, before we actually achieved it.


So, round and round we go, stepping over successes, great and small, along the way. Oops! I just stepped over the goal of starting my project/finishing my project! Oops! I just stepped over my goal of finding an agent/having my work published/getting paid for writing/querying agents-small presses-lit mags/having someone I respect love my work or encourage me. Oops! I just stepped over my goal of my work being published. Oops, I just stepped over my goal of (fill in blanks). And as you circle, you pass people who are running to catch up and pass you as you run to catch up and pass someone else.


A writer, Michael M. Hughes, is a guest at helluo librorum, and after reading his experiences, this one sentence bolded in my head: “If you have even halting, tentative success, realize how lucky you are.”


So, this holiday fourth of July weekend, or whatever the case may be where you are, take a moment to NOTICE just where you are Right Now, and then, take just a glance backwards to remember how excited you were when This Thing Happened—that first glow, that first happy realization that you met your goal before you left it behind and began the round and round and round.


Each success should be savored. Roll that thing in your mouth like a big piece of sweet hard candy –the good kind not the kind nobody likes –and instead of crunching through it and swallowing it, let it slowly melt before you reach for the next piece.


And remember how there is always going to be someone behind you and someone in front of you and someone running over you or pushing you out of the way, someone who sets up circle-roadblocks in front of you—but if you stop the mad dash round and round and appreciate each experience, you will find some peace.


I know every one of us will forget this advice and/or ignore it repeatedly, but for right now, we have right now.
So, tell me Right Now: what goal have you reached that you feel excited over? What are you proud of, happy about, feeling GOOD about yourself about--before you thought, "But . . . " get rid of the BUT just for today and tell me your news!


cartoon

12 comments:

Diane said...

Good advice, thank you, I will! :O)

Teresa said...

I have written a novel. Whether it's ever published or not, I have actually written a novel and I'm proud of that accomplishment. To me, that's success. To have done the absolute best I can do and be proud of it.

What a great post, Kat, and thanks for the link back to Mike's post. Wasn't it grand? ;-D

Teresa said...

I have written a novel. Whether it's ever published or not, I have actually written a novel and I'm proud of that accomplishment. To me, that's success. To have done the absolute best I can do and be proud of it.

What a great post, Kat, and thanks for the link back to Mike's post. Wasn't it grand? ;-D

Suldog said...

Magnificent advice, no matter what field of endeavor we're talking about. Enjoy your successes! What's the use of doing it at all unless you enjoy it?

Karen said...

Well....since you put it that'a-way...I have two very rough novel drafts, a devotional idea and a group devotional idea-with friends at www.kindredheartwriters.com. Thanks I needed to see that perspective today. Have a Happy 4th!

john bord said...

The fog roll in on little cat steps or something like that.
For me that is the journey of a writer, the steps roll on. There are no leaps, just fog drizzling along and I have come to ejoy these little meters measuring my timid steps.

Excellent insight from a hill country sage with the experience.

Linda said...

Good advice, Kat. I have recently finished the third draft of my memoir. It's been WORK to get it this far along, and I'm pleased with the progress. There. I said it.

Marguerite said...

I have finally finished compiling the recipes for my cookbook. Now for the editing! Oops! Happy 4th!

Deb Shucka said...

Thank you for this reminder that the only moment we have is now and that success is measured by how present we are now.

The goal I set for myself - to teach memoir writing, one I thought I wouldn't even get close to for a long time, is a reality in my life. A happy one.

colbymarshall said...

I feel good today because:
*I finally stopped procrastinating and just STARTED the WIP. 2k in!
*I finally reached a point where I told myself I would accept something I've known for a while that I could not change.
*I have let myself breathe and released my death grip on stress...it'll be there when I get back.

Rick said...

Well, I feel good about visiting your blog! And right now I feel great about the two novels I'm working on and the nonfiction book on Masonic symbols and working tools. And, of course, the book on female ninja. Maybe I better get back to work!

Debra said...

This morning I woke up and took a breath. I realized I could live, breath and move. I'm thankful for that. Have been ever since I've been in remission from cancer.

As you can see, I keep my goals very basic :)