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Monday, January 21, 2008

Inspiration Monday: Time for Reflection and a Quick Check

I've often wondered what it was that kept people moving toward their dreams, when obstacles fell in their way. Sometimes, these rocks are just too massive and downright overwhelming, sucking up every bit of energy from one's soul. It's enough to make one want to give up and decide it obviously wasn't meant to be. And it's too bad.

Because if everyone did this, we wouldn't have most of the things we use on a daily basis that we take so much for granted. Almost everything our hands have touched, the knowledge we have soaked in, the history we have inherited, have come from someone else's blood, sweat and tears. There is always someone, somewhere, who had that boulder thrown in their path, and decided to find ways around it, rather than to stop and retreat.

Have you ever had that mountain grow in your path towards your dream? Maybe your family needs you. Or you've been getting too distracted from your day job and you have to work more hours to pay those bills. Maybe your house looks like it will take an army to clean it. Or you've been sick. Or your children have been sick. Or you overcommitted yourself to volunteer projects. Or to something at work to prove to your boss you're perfectly capable. Or you only have so many hours in a day and you can't find a minute for your dream. Does your spouse feel neglected? What about your children? Or when you work on making your dream a reality, you can't feel the enthusiasm you used to have. Because nobody believes in you. Or maybe they are your biggest supporters and you worry about disappointing them. Maybe you're afraid. Of what will happen if you fail. Or if you succeed. Do you see how this list of stones can grow and grow into something huge?

I'll be the first one to admit that I've had days, even weeks where I've been frozen in place. Worried about every little detail. Overwhelmed by lack of time. Spending time fulfilling my commitments. Afraid to make a move. But it's always the wondering and the thrill of my dream that gets me back into action. The What If's. What if I can prove to all the naysayers that I can do it? What if someone likes my work? What if this makes it all the worthwhile? Plus I think of the people who truly fought for their dreams, true heroics and courage needed to fight for their dreams. This is what helps me find creative ways around my obstacles. It makes my dream feel more achievable, when I know others before me have suffered and accomplished so much, for beliefs and dreams far greater than mine. Can't go through this one? Okay, how about around it or over it. One step at a time. One step at a time.

Which leads me to how I did this week in the 2008 New Year's 30 Day Challenge. Last week, although I did alot of research, I didn't get much writing done. This week, I found my research paid off, and I was able to write and define a couple of characters to my satisfaction. All this with one sick child who threw up all over my kitchen floor which really needed some cleaning, organizing math volunteers for my third grader's class, and my birthday. So I even had a clean kitchen! And that makes me happy.

How did you all do? Remember to leave a comment to be considered for the prize. If you have trouble leaving a comment, then send me an e-mail with your progress. Best of luck with your progress this week!

24 comments:

Christine M said...

As you mention about boulders being thrown in your way - and this week we had some changes to the routine in the household which made sticking to my schedule a little tougher.

But, for the most part I did it. I finished the WIP I'd been working on. And then I sent out 3 queries for the other one. Got one rejection, one request for partial, and one I haven't heard from.

It took a bit more effort to get back into writing regularly since I finished the one story. But by the end of the week I was over the hump and working regularly on the another new WIP.

So - despite the struggles - a successful week.

laurasalas said...

Wonderful post. I was nodding and yepping the whole way through. I'm a determined person, so I tend to find ways to drill through boulders. That doesn't mean my finished work is any good. But it will be done, one way or another. Sigh.

Anyway, I posted today about how the Challenge is going for me:
http://laurasalas.livejournal.com/37171.html

Congrats on getting some writing done and a clean floor, too. Here's hoping everyone is healthy this week!

HipWriterMama said...

Chris,
Yay for the partial request and for the one you haven't heard from yet! Keep on writing. Good luck this week and hope you hear positive things soon! I know it will happen soon!
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Laura,
I really like that. "Drill through boulders."

Here's to more thinking outside the box and great writing progress this week! Good luck.

PJ Hoover said...

You know the greatest thing about the weekly checkins? It makes you look each week at your goal. And you see that everyone else out there isn't perfect!
I have been drinking more water. Not my 8 cups a day, but I'm getting there!

Kelly Fineman said...

I forgot to check in last week. I'm not making daily progress toward my goal (which was 10 mins of filing per day), but I am making progress nevertheless. I am using my daughter's pneumonia as an excuse, but now that she's on the mend, I can't even use that, so I'll be back to 10 mins (or more) today. And I'm already putting it on tomorrow's list.

Franki said...

So, I've linked to my post about Boot Camp so far. Funny thing is, it is hard, but I am learning lots. I can feel already that this week will be hard. The bitter cold, the 4:45 wake-up, being tired, is all getting old. But if I get through this week, I am almost there. And I can see improvements already--not so much in my weight which is annoying--but in things I can do this week that I couldn't do a week ago. So..so far, so good! It is ALMOST feeling like a habit. I signed up for the February bootcamp yesterday so this challenge seems to be working even though it is getting harder and harder to get up in the morning. BUt I plan to keep plugging away. I seem to be letting other things go like laundry, etc. but I guess that is okay for a bit.

DS Writer said...

Very beautiful post. Reminds me of why goals are achievable; we shouldn’t be deceivable from them.

I tried to post several times, but like I am a determined person, I will try again…

I was a good girl and keep mindful of all my goals of editing, writing, researching of preparing my book proposal. It was very hard however when different life issues came up and tested me: hubby’s back, toddler’s antics and ear scare, rejections from publishers. (http://ivrydavid.blogspot.com I tend to get overwhelmed. But I am working on myself.
My intention is to still send the book proposal out by the end of the 30 day check-n. I am slowly getting closer to that goal.

I worked like a made train throughout the week blocking myself out. Forgoing on smaller pleasures like perhaps a quick afternoon chat, a book, a catnap, enjoying time off with hubby and son. Instead, I turned my attention to Laura Sala’s online course writing for the educational market (which I highly recommend) , editing a children’s previously rejected, and studying children’s catalogues. (also for Laura’s course)

I am learning though that these aren’t luxuries; they’re necessities.

Now while I am learning a lot from my book writing, I need to learn to space/tune myself out – completely and mindfully.

HipWriterMama said...

Tricia,
Glad you're making progress. Here's to great health!
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Kelly,
Glad your daughter is feeling better. Pneumonia is not fun. Best of luck with your filing this week. And maybe you can send some good thoughts my way so I can get through mine.
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Franki,
You must be reaping some great benefits to sign up for another month. I bet you're going to be one strong, fit person. Best of luck this week!
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Dorit,
It sounds like you're making wonderful progress. I do hope you do make some time for yourself though. Here's to more writing this week!

N.A. Nelson said...

Sticking to your goals is one thing, but listening to your heart is another, and this week, I listened to my writer's heart. I picked up on a project I had abandoned. It received a harsh critique and I was crushed...my ego was crushed anyway. After a year of soul searching, that character's voice is finally back in my head and she's willing to let me write her story. I'm definitely sticking to my schedule...it's become a wonderfully productive habit, but giving up the research on the rennaisance story...for now.

monica said...

not so good.

wuggienorple said...

Lots of research this week - much more than writing - but I felt very productive. Congratulations to everyone on all of the progress!

As always, HipWriterMama, thank you for the inspiring post. Your progress this week and mine were quite similar. I was heavier on the research, but still got some character development and plotting done. Plus I organized our parent volunteers for our upcoming schoolwide Hoops for Heart event. (Although no sick children here - I hope your little thrower-upper is feeling better!) And happy birthday to you!

ldkulp said...

I ran into some boulders of my own this week. Actually,one boulder, one mountain. I get severe migraines about twice a week that bowl me over. I take medication, but even that doesn't always help.

And then there is the mountain of self-doubt. Some days I can climb right over it. Other days I just plunge to the bottom and wonder if life wouldn't be easier/simpler if I just let go of the dream.

I've given up on writing many times telling myself writing in my journal will be enough. But, like so many of us, I have a need to be heard. Writing gives me a voice I wouldn't otherwise have. And so, my passion leads me back to the mountain, back to possibilities, back to the dream.

It's wonderful to read all the comments. I admire all of you for not giving up on your dreams.

Linda

Anonymous said...

Trying to add my link, I somehow added my name 3 times, but still no link. I don't know what I'm doing wrong,so I hope you'll forgive me. Sorry.

HipWriterMama said...

N.A. Nelson,
You're right, it is good to listen to your writer's heart, especially when a character is ready to talk! Good luck with your writing this week.
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Monica,
Uh-oh. I hope you're still continuing to work on this Challenge! Just pick right back up and keep going. Good luck!
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Pam,
Thank you! Best of luck with your writing this week!
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Linda,
Oh! Those migraines are brutal. My best friend gets those on a regular basis and she has to take her meds and then lie down on the floor in a darkened room.

I hope this week is better for you and you keep following your dream. Good luck!

jmprince said...

I'm still working away over here, although I must admit that your post hit far too close to home. There are many excuses I can use to explain why this pursuit of my dream is difficult, and only one thing that keeps me going through it all...determination. Luckily, I'm a pretty determined person, and I will win out in the end. Because I must!
Thanks for this challenge!

KB said...

Well, I didn't do well on my challenge this week. Life seemed to rear it's ugly head and just threw me completely off track. But I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and exercised again! (apologies to Joyce Carol Oates) I worked out today and made a new plan. It's more realistic. I've got to learn to say no!

HipWriterMama said...

Julie,
You can so this. Glad you've got your determination up at arms. Good luck this week!
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KB,
I, for one, have a hard time staying consistent with exercise. So, it's good to hear you got back on track! Best of luck this week!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Some boulders this week have been sick family members (including getting up in the middle of the night to take care of messes) and a young girl howling at me not to play guitar after I've finally gotten her into bed. My fingers are getting stronger, but I'm still not playing barre chords fluidly in songs. Oh well. It's going to take more than a month to get those barre chords up to speed, and I just need to keep strengthening the fingers so that the chords don't get that dying-cow sound I dread.

HipWriterMama said...

Oh, Alkelda,
I hope everyone is feeling better and you're getting some much deserved rest. Glad you're still practicing those barre chords! Good luck this week.

beckylevine said...

Oh, man. First I lost Monday to the holiday, then I lost the post I put up here! Hope that's not an omen for the week.

I did well last week. Staying off the Internet is NOT happening, but I got several chapters of my NF WIP completed and the material edited into the write age voice. This week, get the rest edited for voice, then start looking at sidebars, games, and activities for the first chapters--due the end of Feb. I'm trying to get things done EARLY, because I want/need to get back to my fiction WIP soon!

Congrats, everyone on their progress. Vivian, I like that your last week's research paid off--that's probably why a 30-day challenge is a great way to go!

HipWriterMama said...

Becky,
Sounds like you've gotten a good chunk accomplished, internet or not. Great job! Good luck for the rest of this week.

Sara Latta said...

What an inspirational post--thanks!

Well, for the second week in a row I didn't meet my goal AND I forgot to post on Monday. So your words of encouragement were especially appreciated.

That said, I have made some important progress in the WIP, and I'm pretty happy with the way it's going. So I'm not going all Debbie Downer on you.

Blink said...

Over the last week in reading workshop we have immersed ourselves in biographies. One area of observation we are now noting as we deconstruct bios is "obstacles overcome" by the subject. As in your post we too, talked about how our subjects persevered toward their goals. I think though tedious on some occasions and tightly scheduled on others, I can continue to fit in my hour inspired by those tributes! It still isn't a religiously programmed hour, but it's getting there. Thanks for the encouragement all!

HipWriterMama said...

Sara,
I'm glad you made progress on your writing. Good luck for the rest of the week!
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Blink,
Sounds like you've gotten some things accomplished. Best of luck for the rest of this week.