Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do you ever wish for greener grass?





This older post held special meaning for me, and I hope it helps you too!

The grass is always greener on the other side, even in the writing world. We look at other writers and think, I wish I was there already.

Those working on their first drafts wish their wips were polished
Those with polished manuscripts wish their queries were perfect
The unagented wish they had agents
The agented wish they had a book deal
The published wish they had higher sales
Best-selling authors wish they had a movie deal
Round and round it goes

With the right attitude, this can work in our favor. It gives us something to strive for while we're pecking away on the keyboard. Without the proper perspective, this could bring us down, making us feel as if we don't measure up.

I read somewhere that goals are dreams with deadlines. I think it's okay to look past where we are and work our tails off to get to the other side. As long as we understand there are weeds in that greener grass, because there are. In case you missed it, Nathan Bransford wrote an interesting post about When Dreams Become Expectations.

Am I where I want to be with my writing career? I'm getting there. And even though the grass I'm standing on has a few weeds here and there, it feels pretty good under my feet. How about you?

37 comments:

  1. Inspiring post. It all feels pretty good right now.

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  2. 'Goals are dreams with deadlines'.

    I'm so nabbing that, thank you!

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  3. I think I'm happy with my current green grass!

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  4. Nice post! I might have a bit of this syndrome, but I'm happy where I am at the same time. It could be worse!

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  5. Wonderful post. Just what I needed to hear today!

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  6. Hi Julie, I have days when I think ' what on earth am I doing, I'm supposed to be retired!' But those moods thankfully don't last too long. :0)

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  7. I remember this post! Still great. Appreciate the journey.

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  8. Right now I'm chopping down the tall clumps of dried overgrowth that have swallowed up my writing. As I slowly cut them away I am again finding fertile soil to re-plant my writing roots and letting my words grow into endless green pastures.

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  9. The grass is good where I am at the moment. :)

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  10. I remember that post about dreams becoming expectations. Brilliant. Will go back and reread it since you provided the link.

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  11. Speaking of grass literally -- my lawn is outta control! I need a weed-wacker!

    As for writing wise, I'm pulling up weeds and putting down fertilizer -- getting ready for some beautiful tulips to bloom later. :)

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  12. Great timing, Julie. I'm at the end of revisions right now, and I'm so looking forward to next week when that stage will be done. I know I'll enjoy the feeling for a few days, but you're right--after that, I'll get antsy, looking ahead to the next big thing.

    What's the trick to being content, and yet not being complacent?

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  13. Very good point--there always seems to be something else, and in an endless circle, with writing! I try to take it one project at a time. Right now I have projects in various stages, and my brain is ALL over the place and I have to try to take each one as it comes. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy where each book is at this moment, while striving for the next stage.

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  14. I learned a great lesson at the SCBWI conference, to slow down and do it right instead of giving into the need for quick results.

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  15. The weeds, for me, help me appreciate the grass. Actually, I like weeds.

    I didn't read your original post. And ironically, a few minutes ago I also put up an older post.

    Your title, The Grass is Greener, reminds me of one of my favorite Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr movies of the same title, also starring the stunning Jean Simmons and another favorite, Robert Mitchum. It was a romantic comedy, but it had the same message: the grass always looks greener....over there.

    I love your literal picture above: both green and blue are gorgeous. My own writing dreams go back to my childhood when summer sky and grass *always* seemed perfect. I lay on the green and looked out into the blue, and dreamed about being a famous author. Now I can adjust those dreams to the realities that life has imposed. Like you, Julie, I'm finally comfortable with the weeds underfoot.

    Excellent post. I'm glad you re-posted it so I could read it.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

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  16. I read that post by Nathan, and both that and your post are good reminders to stay grounded. I know the realities and numbers behind my chances of getting published, and I know that some of my writing dreams may be out of reach. That's why I keep my expectations in check. I expect to get better at writing with practice and critiques~ that's where I try to concentrate my goals--not so much with getting an agent, getting published, etc. I'd drive myself crazy otherwise :)

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  17. Way to put it in perspective for us, Julie. Gotta have perspective, or we'll drive ourselves crazy. And it's great that we can learn from those who have gone before us. Yeah, I want to be further along, but everything in it's time!

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  18. Julie, I think I agree with my buddy Laura M. These posts are just the encouragement that I need to read quite often.
    I'm working way too many hours at the day job, spending way too many hours glued to this laptop and, I'm afraid, not spending enough time with my family...or cleaning house! I used to clean the house all the time! Now I do laundry and yardwork, and that's about all.
    Why? Because I'm pushing hard, trying to make something of this writing career/hobby that I suddenly have. *sigh*
    Thanks for the pat on the back! It really helps!

    -Jimmy

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  19. Terrific post, Julie.

    Thanks for reposting it. It's true we all need a bit of a dream. And of course there might be a weed or two, but we all need goals.

    I am on final edits of my second novel, hoping for representation soon. Let's hope we all get where we want to go.

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  20. Great post Julie. And all this is so true!

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  21. I tried to explain this to my 8 yr old the other day and he took it literally. He said' so the grass is really green on one side and dead and brown on the other." I laughed.

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  22. I'm loving my green grass at the moment, rolling around in it and enjoying it! The next part of the journey will be exciting, but this part's pretty awesome too.

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  23. Great post, Julie! There's nothing more important than grabbing what we have now, today! Everyone always wants the next step, but that shadows the joy of the current, and before they know it, they're never happy. Great reminder.

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  24. Super reminder. It's ALWAYS good to enjoy the grass where you are! To have goals, but not to the point where you're not living in the present, and not being happy until you've reached those goals.

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  25. I try to be realistic, but of course I still strive for the greenest grass.

    But where I'm at right now has nice scenery. :)

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  26. Guys, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments on searching for greener grass.

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  27. Dreams have worked for me because they give me something to aspire to. We don't always appreciate where we are on the journey, but there's always someone else looking on and wishing they were in our shoes.

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  28. I like the idea of dreams becoming expectations. I feel like everyone has an agent but me. Maybe it will always be greener on the other side, but it gives me something to work towards.

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  29. Exactly! This always goes on and on. I wonder why we human beings are built like that...hmmm?

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  30. This is such an inspiring post, Julie. Few people are ever satisfied with where they are in life -- and writing's the same. There's a fine line between striving to do better and not appreciating what you have. :)

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  31. I think I remember this post from before, and it's still as inspiring now as it was then. I'm often struck by the realization that my dreams in actualization may not be as rose-colored as I imagine. It helps me keep this hunger for publication under control, helps me to be content where I am in my journey.

    Thanks for this!
    Amy

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  32. Good post Julie. :) I think the big thing is to look forward and have goals, but really appreciate the journey as it unfolds. The people who can't find the roses among the weeds are the ones that will likely walk away before they reach their goals.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  33. I am finally in a happy frame of mind, where my writing is concerned. So the grass is looking green.

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  34. I love the "goals are dreams with deadlines" I'm putting that on my wall! The grass does look so much better on someone else's lawn until you have to take care of it and realize how much WORK it is. Still feels good though. :)

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  35. Great post. We won't enjoy the destination unless we enjoy the journey.

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