Back off baby: slow down!

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NaNoWriMo day two (see “Jump right in…”): 2,068 words down, 47,932 words to go. And I’ve already learned something about myself, and my writing. I realized that in the not-so-distance past when I’d sit down and compose, I’d navigate from A to Z in a straight shot to arrive at the “good parts” quicker. This hit home as I drove through my neighborhood recently and a vehicle raced up behind my car. Back off baby, I thought, right before the driver swerved around me, only to be forced to stop at a red light. It seems we’re always in a rush to get to the “good parts;” consequently, we oftentimes miss the magic that unfolds during the detours and roundabouts, the hills and the valleys—in life and on the page. As I plunge into this month of writing, I promise to allow myself to slow down, explore new territory (whether planning/plotting or pantsing) and simply tread water for a bit.

When do you need to back off?

Taking the first step

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taking the first step

[Image credit: arztsamui]

It’s always too early to quit.
~ Norman Vincent Peale

New Year’s Day came and went and I could easily use a do-over.  It’s called “too much of a good thing.”  But, thankfully, every day is a new beginning in itself.  So the next day I began with my goal of writing that book I’ve been dreaming about for longer than I can remember.  I wasn’t necessarily ready to get up earlier to write.  And I didn’t log in as many words as I had planned.  But I started.  I took the first step.  And then the next day I took my second step.  And so on.  That’s all I can ask of myself because life will inevitably happen.  I’ll have to work late, my daughter will stop by unexpectedly to visit and I’ll need to make an unscheduled stop at the store or doctor.  I need to be able to accept these detours and move on.  Or I’ll never reach my destination.

What is your feel-like-quitting remedy?

Maneuvering around the detours

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[Image credit: dan]

I’ve never been an athletic person.  Always the last kid picked in gym class, I was relieved when wearing a back brace kept me from participating in contact sports for three years.  During the annual President’s Award challenge, I barely performed the minimum requirements.  Over three decades later I’m leg pressing more than my body weight at the gym, executing “real” push-ups and training for a sprint triathlon with my first race in April.  Unfortunately, last night when I was less than a quarter-mile from home after a 3 1/2 mile run, after checking for traffic, I lost my balance and propelled myself off the curb and into the street — my phone and ear buds flying, ankle twisting and both knee and hand making contact with the pavement.  Although I’m hoping the on-and-off icing and Ibuprofen nipped the worst in the bud, I may need to mentally prepare myself to postpone my plans, whether the race or the triathlon, or even my dreams for Someday.  Because it just might be the healing time I need rather than manipulating the outcome I desire.  And wherever I end up, I’d rather arrive limp-free.

How patient are you when your plans are sidetracked or derailed?