Thursday, October 21, 2010

That path we're on


I can't decide if I feel like this skateboarder, rolling down a mountain trail, flying on land and not caring what rules he breaks as long as he's finding a new hill to conquer.
Or if I'm the old man who had to stop to catch his breath part-way uphill, willing himself to do this thing even if his body threatens mutiny.
I feel as though I swing between exhilaration and exhaustion on this journey to publishing a novel. (Well, if I get past the writing and revising to the publishing part.)
And, yet...even when I question, even when I'm tired or down, I go on. The mountain is there, and I'm lured to find its summit. I don't know if that's insanity, destiny or true grit, but I gotta do it. Sometimes, it's a helluva fun ride.
*
*

But sometimes, too, I just feel driven, and that's not healthy. I'm searching for balance.
I think I need more of this--gazing up at the sky, spotting the sliver of moon, watching clouds drift.
Like when I was a kid and I seemed to have all the time in the world to soak up the wonder and enchantment and possibility. It reminds me of the words I posted last from Susan Straight: Just be in it.
What about you?

31 comments:

Dawn said...

I'm with you - definitely need more time for gazing up at the moon!

KarenG said...

You basically just described my daily moods!

Donna said...

All that . . .

Yat-Yee said...

Great post! I love that you highlight the exhilaration and exhaustion that visit us in our process of writing and what a perfect picture. I think I feel more like the man catching his breath than the skateboarder most days. And I will look up to the sky more often. Thanks for the reminder.

Tere Kirkland said...

I've been trying to take more time lately to stare up at the moon, seems like the past month or so has had me frazzled.

Thanks for the reminder!

Bethany Mattingly said...

I think I start off the day as the old man wanting to take a break and progress to the skater.

Genie of the Shell said...

Yeah... I am feeling you.

Pregnancy has given me a good opportunity to take a break from the writing madness, slow things down, and just live for a little bit. Creativity is cyclical and needs down time to recharge and renew.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Dawn: Right? Like stretched out on the grass or a hammock with nothing to do but watch the sky.

@KarenG: Glad I'm not alone in this!

@Donna: :D

@Yat-Yee: I love taking pictures of sights that interest me and then seeing how they work into my thoughts and writing.

@Tere: Sometimes we can't help the frazzled, but too much of it will make us come undone, I'm pretty sure. I've got to make myself take some quiet time.

@Bethany: That's hilarious, and I can relate. Some days I don't find my stride until late.

@Genie: Exactly. We run the risk of using up all our energy if we never recharge and renew.

Wen Baragrey said...

The weird thing is, sometimes doing less of something does make you better at it, too. I always find that a day spent lazing around is a hugely important investment in my writing. Unfortunately, finding a day like that can be awful tricky!

Jade said...

As soon as nights are a little warmer, I'm out there moon gazing. And drinking cocktails. But mainly gazing.

VR Barkowski said...

Even being surrounded by wonderful, positive things can be stressful if you don't take the time to lay back and and "just be in it."

Indigo said...

Without a doubt revisions are hard work. I love the storytelling more than anything. However nothing comes of sitting idyllic. When I have those 'I need to get out of my head space' moments, I step back and give myself time to contemplate what I'm writing. If there is anything I've learned, forcing the words, only result in forced words and they sound and read the same way. (Hugs)Indigo

Jemi Fraser said...

I desperately need more time to star gaze and relax - life is total chaos around here right now!

Clarissa Draper said...

I go through both everyday. I think you describe writing well and I think we need to go through both to get through it.

CD

L.T. Elliot said...

I think we all have seasons of road-sitting vs freewheeling it down the mountain. Right now, I'm taking a breather just before I plunge over the edge. ;)

The Words Crafter said...

I love gazing upwards. On the playground at work, we sometimes get to watch hawks playing on the currents. It's breathtaking....

Janet Johnson said...

I miss that ability I had as a kid to spend hours gazing up. Never bored. Never pressed to go get something done.

Beautiful thoughts!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Wen: That's the trick, isn't it--to make time you don't think you can 'lose'?

@Jade: Moon-gazing with cocktails. Does it get better than that? :D

@Viva: Exactly. Our lives are much too programmed. I realized that when I went to a harbor to do research. In the midst of observing and note-taking, I sat down for a minute and gazed at the boats. I realized I never do that anymore, just be in the moment. It opens us to other types of insight, and is vital, actually.

@Indigo: Too true. Forcing words does not make for a flow.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Jemi: Oh, dear, I know what you mean. Hope it settles down!

@Clarissa: I love talking like this with other writers and seeing how much was face the same hills.

@LT: Wear your helmet! :D

@WordsCrafter: Watching hawks is one of my all-time favorite things. I love their almost lazy grace and utter power.

@Janet: How can we recapture that? Maybe turn off our adult voice of responsibility for a bit?

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

It's forever swinging back and forth between the two, although I think I probably spend more time on the skateboard than I do gazing up at the sky. Hopefully some day that will change.

Gorgeous photos, as always, Tricia!

Liza said...

I stepped off the skateboard and feel ever so much better...but fear at some point soon, I'll have to climb back on.

Sarah said...

I keep going back and forth between the two. Honestly, I don't mind sitting down and catching my breath sometimes. I don't mind doing nothing but keeping myself and my thoughts company. But I also love being on the skateboard, feeling breathless.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Carol: Thank you, and keep wearing your helmet. ;)

@Liza: Your photos reveal that you do take reflective time. Actually, I guess I do, too, but maybe I just need to recognize and savor it more.

@Sarah: Hi! You're right the two balance each other. There is a thrill in being breathless and a calm in catching that breath.

Robyn Campbell said...

Whatchu said, uh-huh. :) I may brush my hair tomorrow. That's a start. :)

Jackee said...

I certainly need to find the balance and just be in it too. :o) But I also need to find my true grit when it comes to writing. All too often I find myself wanting to write the fun, easier stuff and not push through and do the hard things.

Thanks for the gorgeous pictures, my friend! Your blog is always food for the soul and eye. I love it!

Michele Emrath said...

Balance. I've long thought that is the key to a perfect life, and yet it is almost impossible to attain. And there is excitement on that balancing beam, isn't there? We learn so much from the shifting weight.

Thanks for coming by and following Southern City Mysteries! Best of luck on your writing!

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

paulgreci said...

Cool post. I definitely have swung between the extremes you describe. I think that's pretty natural. And, I love the photos you chose to illustrate this concept!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Robyn: Hope you're feeling much better soon.

@Jackee: Thank you so much! And, yeah, the gritty part of writing is tough, tough, tough.

@Michele: Hi and welcome! I love that thought about learning from shifting weight. Great analogy. One of my favorite yoga positions is Tree, because you can feel the shifting as you maintain the balance. What you have to do is draw upwards from the core--I'm going to try to remember that in writing, too.

@Paul: Thanks, Paul. It's always a pleasure to have you visit. :)

Lydia Kang said...

I think you said it perfectly. It's exhausting and exhilarating. We're all on the same ride, it seems...

Phoenix said...

I suck at balancing my life... so who am I to talk? :) I work in spurts...being driven to the brink of exhaustion, then being lazy for a week, then driving myself harder all over again.

Wish I could find the happy medium...

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Lydia: At least we can hang on to each other! ;)

@Phoenix: Maybe it's natural, like the ebb and flow of waves. I don't know, but however we make it happen, right?