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Posts Tagged ‘personal reflections’

My last ‘Been Thinking’ post had been on where we start. This morning I was reflecting more on when we stop, slow down, step away, or halt. Interestingly, I was thinking about the concept of doing that with writing.

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Now, before anyone gasps in horror, no, I am not ending my writing career. I am enjoying it way too much and have so many stories planned to write. However, what about the people that do? Therein lies my thoughts.

Like many writers, I get overwhelmed or frustrated by the required promotion time we have to invest in our books. We mostly just want to write, not stop writing in order to promote or sell ourselves. It requires a balancing act many struggle with, including me.F Factor in time spent on family, friends, other jobs, and life in general, it’s easy to sometimes ask ourselves: Is this even worth it? This can be especially true following a harsh review or disappointing sales. Just scan the Facebook pages with all the groups devoted to authors who give each other that boost to keep going when it seems insurmountable.

Now suppose someone just decided enough, they were stepping away from writing. How do they do that? Well, the obvious answer seems to be “Stop writing”. However, it’s not always that easy. Do the current work(s)in progress just go into the drawer or archived files? What about the social media presence? Do the posts just stop? And what about the books already out there? Royalties will still trickle in from future sales. The book will still be ‘alive and available’ unless it’s self-published and the author decides to remove it from all listings. Is that advisable? Contracts? Series? Sequels? All things to consider. Even harder is the story lines already dreamed up and wait their turn to be crafted into a book. Are they destined to lie in silence forever?

I would invite you to take this reflective journey with me. Imagine the one thing you secretly, deeply, totally want to stop. What is this one action? Your day job? Your hobby? Your marriage? Family or friend obligations? Social obligations? A stifling friendship?  Close your eyes and silently give it voice, say it to yourself.

Now, picture all the things that will cease as a result. The future things that will no longer be.  How does that look to you? Liberating? Terrifying? Exciting? Sad? Happy?

Sometimes, when we want so badly to stop or walk away from something but know we cannot, it can be cathartic to imagine it, to let the fantasy run while in our minds for brief flights of fancy. above-adventure-aerial-air.jpg

 

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Some change is good… some change is bad….all change is inevitable.

 

I made that whimsical observation last May. It impressed me enough to jot it down in a little notebook I keep for little ditties such as that.

This winter has been a time of change and adapting around the house. I realized this recently, as winter slowly, reluctantly, loosens her grip and yields to spring’s dawn. I am adapting to not having my constant companion Scrapper with me. I have grieved over her loss for two months now, agonized on wanting a new companion dog but knowing it is not the time to do so. So I have grieved Scrapper’s passing even more. This is compounded because the same door is quickly closing on 18 year old Pepper as she leaves stability and enters feline hospice.

In the world of real hospice, I lost a dear friend and confidant this March, one I continue to grieve as well. His passing continues to challenge and change and grow my spiritual beliefs. My frequent journal entries point to these observations and discussions.

In my writing life, I am on an overwhelmed ride of highs. I am gearing up for a the first Book Festival for Whispers next week. I’ve studied, speculated and studied for this like a mid-term exam. I need to remember to have fun with it too. I’ve completed a second round of edits for Shimmers of Stardust. I can happily say the lessons learned in editing processes is changing and helping my current works in progress. And I can now dream of later this year, when it and When Clouds Gather become full-fledged books for public consumption. More changes are in store as the year wears on I think.

The constant work load of emails, promotion, social media and all the business of publishing and being a writer is swamping me so I have to sometimes stop, get off the ride, suck in a few breaths of air and hop back on again. It’s an experience I am still learning, almost two years later.

The household is changing too. I have come to know shy Aspen and her not shy daughter, Avery Faith as they learn to adapt to house cat living. One sleeps with me at night and one wakes me in the morning. They have had to learn sisal rope is fine for sharpening claws unless it’s used for wicker plant stands. I’ve learned to make chili powder paste. They’ve learned chairs are okay to sit on, but not tables. I’ve learned pretty flower displays don’t hold up to curious kittens. They’ve learned indoor cats will have periodic nail trims. I’ve learned even more patience then I ever dreamed. The four resident seniors have learned to tolerate, and even enjoy, the new usurpers. More than once I’ve caught at least three of them engaged in play with one or the other.

I guess the biggest thing I have learned over the winter months as we all change, adapt, challenge ourselves and each other, grow and struggle is this: I am only one person. I can only do what I can do in the present moment. I can only learn from the past, both good and bad parts of it, apply it to the moment of right now and do my best. The future is where I will be shortly. I owe it to myself and my furry/feathered/finned dependents to make it the best I can. This truth has to encompass my work life, my writing life, my home life, my social life and my spiritual life. (not necessarily in that order but they have to be listed somehow) And most importantly, I have learned this, as I am growing, changing, adapting and evolving–so are others around me. Co-workers, friends, pets and strangers alike. We are all part of this trip called LIFE.

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