Friday, November 6, 2009

Take Time to Breathe

Below is what was intended to be a comment response on my blog. Instead, it sort of morphed into today's post.

I've written before about patience, taking time to smell the roses, and all that jazz. Well, a comment yesterday started me thinking along those lines again, and it went something like . . .

If we hurry too fast through life, we're not really living. We have to take the time to slow down, ease the hurried pace, and take notice of the world around us.

Icarus wanted to fly, but instead he crashed and burned. He wanted his dream so bad, he didn't think about the consequences. He, in effect, burned out.

I think if we rush, rush, rush all the time, then we will burn out. Our relationships will suffer, and, our writing as well.

So, my advice - don't fly too high, don't race to far, don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow might not come. Worry about today, here and now, and take a moment to breathe!

We need to breathe people, deep, steady breaths, as we race toward our dream of publication. We need to stretch, warm-up, and take precautionary measures. We need to find a balance between our dream of being published, and the world around us as well.

So, my questions: Is a dream worth having if there's nothing left of us in the end? How much of you, the person, are you willing to sacrifice to become you, the published author? What relationships are you willing to let fall to the wayside so you can pursue your publishing dream? How many hugs with your children/husband/significant other are you willing to give up because you just have to write? How many pats on the head for the dog and cat are you going to forgo because you just have to write? Will it all be worth it in the end?

Follow your dreams, follow your heart, but don't forget to live in the process.



Angie Ledbetter said...

Can't hear this often enough. *Inhale*

Jody Hedlund said...

Awesome questions, Scott. I have to really evaluate myself and my goals. But I also realize that when I'm in one of those races, where it's hard to come up for air, that particular race will come to an end. Like right now with my rewrites, the pace is fast. But it'll hopefully slow down again in a couple of weeks!

Robyn Campbell said...

Thanks for your comment yesterday. I know that as I go through this with Christopher, there are certain people I can count to pray, send good thoughts, etc. You're one of those people.

Anyway, I was breathing deep steady breaths like you said and I started hyperventilating. Gee. :)

Your post and mine kinda go together. So that was you in my brain? You're right though.

When I first started writing I was in a race. A race with myself. I lost.

Now I'm taking my time. And trying to do it RIGHT!

Another great post my friend. Another great post. :)

Bethany Wiggins said...

That is the question I ask myself every day. You put it into words beautifully. The answer? For me, I am not willing to give those things up. Not in mass quantity, anyway. The only time I allow myself to work on my writing is when my children are asleep. Because otherwise, it is unfair to them. And that isn't a price I am willing to pay.

WindyA said...

I am with Bethany completely. There is only 1 day a year (my b-day) that I will take mostly to myself. Other than that, all my writing time is when the family is asleep. I would rather sacrifice the hours of shut-eye than time with my husband and kids.

Anonymous said...

A great reminder to have balance, and live in the present moment. Maybe think of your life as a meditation practice.

Tess said...

this is excellent advice going into the hectic holiday season. Deep breath, relax, take it all in. Too soon, it will be gone and we will have to wait another whole year to see the pretty lights strung along the rooftops and taste pumpkin chocolate chip cookies :D

Scott said...

Okay, I've been really lax about responding to all your comments. In my defense, I was away this weekend. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Ha!

Angie - right on!!!

Jody - I totally understand the obsession of writing, of feeling like I'm in a race, and can barely breathe, or eat for that matter. I think as long as those periods only last a matter of weeks, and not months, we're fine. If it goes on for months, I think some damage to relationships can occur . . . and that's not a good thing.

Robyn - you're welcome. You know I'm there for you!! And yes, that was me in your brain again! : ) I think every writer, at the beginning, is in this big race for success. The problem: sometimes, we submit doody work to agents because we're in such a hurry. Bad, bad thing to do. Why? Well, said agent gets pile of doody from said aspiring writer and potentially remembers pile of doody years later and, maybe, just maybe, doesn't give said writer time of day. Bad, bad thing!

Bethany - hopefully, we all reach the point where you (and me, for the most part) are at right now. For some, though, I think the process takes a bit longer, and I'm not sure if they'll realize the price they paid for success in the end. : )

Windy - I try and schedule my writing time for when I'm alone. #1 - if I don't, my beloved partner will just come in the room and start chatting with me, totally clueless to 'the look' I'm giving him. He's just lucky I like him a wee bit. There is sacrifice in the life we writers have chosen, and we just have to figure out where we're willing to make that sacrifice.

Paul - we have today, yesterday is gone, and tomorrow just might not happen. I really think society worries far too much about tomorrow, and truly forgets about today.

Tess - ditto!