Monday, November 15, 2010

My challenge to you: the Here and the Now; Right now.

Saturday's event went well. I had a nice turn-out and we raised some money for Share the Warmth/Mountain Projects. My face was red and hot like it gets, and I fidgeted around nervously, like always *laugh* - but people seemed happy and I was happy, so that's all that matters. GMR's jambalaya, cookies, and brownies were gobbled up, and that's a good thing, too. I met and talked to some wonderful people - and again, that's a good thing.

I was thinking about things and my blog and all, and notice where I generally tend to shy away from giving out "writer's advice" even though this is a "writer's blog." But, thing is, there's so much of it out there. So many places giving advice, what else could I tell you? I'm always willing and love to answer questions and help when I can, but, really, all our paths are different, and all our many ways of writing are unique, our journeys varied.

We all just do the best we can do. We all just put our hearts in it and hope that the path we're on is the correct one -- well you know what? There's no way to know whether you are on the correct path until you come to a fork in it and have to make another decision, or you come to the end of it and either there's something you've always wanted there that makes you completely happy, or there's nothing there you want and you have to turn back around and go back the way you came - or, you decide to plunge ahead and make a new path.

I read a blog yesterday where the writer, Cathy West, talked about "is this the fun part?" Because she knows the publishing path isn't all roses and easy strolling along - you can feel as if you are stumbling down some rough road as you are writing your work, then as you query for it that path can be full of thorns and shifting dirt and uphill uphill uphill, but once you are published, the work is not over - unless you are satisfied only with the idea of having a book published, printed, and on a couple of bookshelves. Once you are published, you must decide what your goals are and then take that path. My friends, the writing of the work is the wonderful magical time - unless you are one of the few who hate the process (and there are writers like that - much as I don't understand it, they are there -perhaps they aren't writing what they want but want is wanted from them or what they think is wanted from them?)

If one isn't careful, the frustrations along the paths to and when published can tarnish the joy of the business--the business of books, of words and language, of characters, of stories.

I will tell you, too, that someone will always be more successful than you are, as long as you define success outside of yourself - as long as you look outward to what someone else is doing and what they have and who they are, you may never find joy and contentment in what you have accomplished.

Well, guess I am giving out advice after all, though I didn't mean to! Thanksgiving is round the corner, so maybe this week and next week is a good time for us all to consider what we have instead of what we want, or what we think we want. Maybe this week and next week is a good time to feel Satisfied. To feel Complete. To look around at where we are on our path and actually see what is around us instead of always looking ahead, or trying to find the path another person has taken that has surely led them to Success.

Maybe this week and next week we all need to do the old-fashioned "counting our blessings" - touch the heads of our children/grandchildren, kiss the lips of our partners/spouses, hug our friends, take a walk and NOTICE something in nature, find wonder in this Earth we live on, be in the Here and the Now all  this week.

That's my challenge to you - to be Right Here and Right Now all this and Thanksgiving week (even if you do not celebrate Thanksgiving or live in Canada and already have, you can still do this). To be grateful for something or someone instead of wondering "What comes next?" Here. Now. That's what we have -that's the Sure Thing. Right this moment, there is something or someone in front of you that you haven't given attention to - even if it is your own Self.

 (I'm laughing because it just dawned upon my pea-head that Thanksgiving is NEXT week, so I added in some "next weeks" to the "this weeks" *laughing!*
(all photos are mine except for the cartoon)


Glynis said...

A lovely post. I do not celebrate Thanksgiving, here in Cyprus, nor did we in the UK.

I do have many things to be thankful for, and the chance to write is one of them. Another is finding friends like yourself around the world of blogging.

I cannot imagine writing and not enjoying the task. :/

Lori said...

Amen, Amen, Amen!!! I love your thoughts on all of this. I love that you let us see you as you are. There is such value in being thankful and really does change our perspective on life. Bless you and your Katherine. XX

lakeviewer said...

I'll raise a glass to this entire post, wise and timely!

KarenG said...

Being grateful = being happy. What a nice Thanksgiving/writerly post.

Tipper said...

Great advice-I think you SHOULD give it more often : )

Anonymous said...

Very good blog, congratulation ! i'm follower with pleasure !

Bye Mahon

Deb Shucka said...

I love this slightly sideways slant on gratitude. Right here, right now - being satisfied with enough - looking around at our abundance. Two weeks of being grateful is a great idea.:-)

The last picture is so magical - truly - like you captured something beyond reality.

john bord said...

To have someone say they have read one of my stories is a satisfaction that carries a reward in itself. The paltry check is a touch of icing.

The first keeps the words showing up on the screen to go forth and be shared.

Within this satisfaction is a drive to strive on. A contentment is there and I just have to accept it and not push for something that is not there.

Glad you had a good time and enjoyed the moments.

Diane said...

Absolutely, good advice! Thank you, I needed this reminder. :O)

demery bader-saye said...

So good. Needed this. Will read again. I think for me that I lose the joy when I look outside myself... when I let myself believe that another person's measure of my writing defines me as a person. Good to remember the blessing of wanting to and being able to create something lovely - and the luxury of having time to spend in that creation. So glad that your Sweetie debut went well!!

colbymarshall said...

needed this one this week! thanks!

Catherine West said...

Awe, thanks for the mention! Your advice is wonderful and timely. I do agree that all too often we forget to live in the moment. How many precious memories were never made because we never picked up the phone, got in the car or sent that long overdue email...
Ah, life. It is a gift too rare, too short, and too wonderful to be taken for granted.
This year, as always, I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends, and my sister who I only get to see every so often, but will be spending Thanksgiving with this year. The hustle and bustle of upcoming book releases and the terrifying task of promoting said book shall be put aside for a few days!!
Have a great Thanksgiving!

Marguerite said...

So glad you had a bon' ton', on Saturday. I knew the Jambalaya would be a big hit! Great writerly advice and I totally agree with you, cher!