Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Grateful for the Long Road #IWSG



Hello, friends! Today I'm participating in Alex J. Cavanaugh's brilliant brainchild, Insecure Writer's Support Groupand Sheri Larsen's It's All About Gratitude blog hop.

I'm also featured at The Artist Unleashed on Jessica Bell's blog. Stop by and chat about how we mature as writers. Cuz I'm mature :)

Is it possible to be insecure and grateful? Sure! Let me explain.

On Valentine's Day, Super Supportive Hubby and I took a romantic ride in a horse-drawn carriage on a moonlit night. He gazed lovingly at me as I cradled long-stemmed roses in my arms.

Just kidding. That is soooo not us!

Instead, we spent the day hiking the jagged peaks of Vasquez Rocks--cool rock formations near our home (seen in Roswell, The Flinstones, and Star Trek: The Next Generation). We've hiked there several times before. Hubby wanted to branch out on a new trail. I was game.

We took a long, meandering trail shaded by overhanging trees. We were like the So Cal Lewis and Clark, exploring new surroundings. I loved it. By the time we reached our destination, we were hungry, hot, and tired. We'd planned lunch at the local Mexican restaurant. I was having visions of mango margaritas. Forget Lewis and Clark. We needed to get back to our car, stat.

Hubby's solution? A shortcut! Less distance, less time. Brilliant. True, the distance was shorter, but the climb was straight up. Hard work when you're seeing mirages of mango margaritas. Hubby had to push and pull me in certain places. I didn't care about the beautiful surroundings. I just wanted to get to the end.

What did I learn? I like long, meandering roads much better, where I'm focused on the view and not the destination.

Same with my writing road. I'm grateful my journey has not been rushed. I'm grateful I didn't get what I wanted when I wanted it. I'm grateful I've had time to learn and grow along the way. I'm still insecure about each fork on the trail, but I'm grateful for the long road. I can walk, run, take detours, stumble, and fall. Things have a way of working out the way they should.

What else did I learn?
  1. Mango margaritas are worth the wait.
  2. We must choose the right paths for ourselves.
  3. Beware the man who says, "Let's take a shortcut."
If you're a hiker, do you like long roads or shortcuts? How about with your writing life? Please share!


34 comments:

  1. You left me laughing...but the guts of this post hold a lot of inspiration. Thank you. And, I haven't had a margarita in almost thirty years...but mango flavored? That sounds tempting.

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    1. Liza, thank you! We later toasted to long roads and shortcuts, so all was well.

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  2. I love that you're grateful your writing journey hasn't been rushed. I hope I can get to that attitude soon. I am a firm believer in 'I'm right where I'm supposed to be.' When I take my eyes off that belief, all I see is the time that has already passed me. Need. More. Focus.

    Thanks so much for participating in my hop to recognize gratitude! I really appreciate it. I have a little gift for you on my site. Feel free to stop by anytime. It's on my gratitude post.

    Sheri at Writer's Alley

    Home of Rebel Writer CREED 2014
    Mighty Minion Bureau Team #atozchallenge

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    1. Thanks for the great idea, Sheri! I love focusing on gratitude. Any opportunity to do it and I'm there.

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  3. Hilarious post :-) but don't all men say 'let's take a shortcut'?!

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    1. Jane, so true! They are problem solvers, after all. Our problem was I needed the car!

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  4. I combined IWSG and the Gratitude Blog Hop today too! It is amazing how insecurity and gratitude can go together (really, they should go together). And I'm so with you on this one: "I like long, meandering roads much better, where I'm focused on the view and not the destination." Totally agree!

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    1. Margo, I'm going to hop over there now! Yes, I agree, insecurity and gratitude can definitely go together.

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  5. I am not a great hiker, although I love being out in nature, so if there's a short-cut, I'm going to take it. But with writing, I find there are no shortcuts, as much as I'd love to find one.

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    1. Karen, I also wish there were shortcuts with writing. Especially when I'm slogging through draft 2 :)

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  6. "Beware the man who says, "Let's take a shortcut." Ha! Too true. I'm also grateful for the length of my writing journey. It really gave me a chance to discover that what I want isn't just to be a published author, but to learn how to craft stories and to be constantly learning/improving on that front.

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    1. Jess, beautifully said. Sometimes we're in too big of a hurry and miss all the good stuff.

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  7. I love good Mexican food. I live in an area with a lot of great authentic Mexican food. Even the little hole-in-the-wall places are really great. Your hike sounds lovely. It's freezing out here in the Midwest.

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    1. Steph, little hole in the wall places are the best! Or the worst :) I'll go to them once I have a good referral. My husband's family is Mexican. His mom's cooking is sinfully good.

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  8. I like your real romantic day out much better than the fake one!
    The destination is better when we do get to enjoy the journey along the way.
    Now, I'm ready for fajitas!

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    1. Alex, now that you mention fajitas...those sound so good! I hear them sizzling in my head. Darn you, Alex.

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  9. There's shortcuts for writing? No way! But I'd take any shortcut for a margarita, that's for sure. I'm always willing to take the complete journey. Short cuts only cut out the beauty we would otherwise encounter.

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    1. Dean, wonderfully said. It reminds me of that quote..."Life is what happens when we're busy making plans"

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  10. Loved your post. I'm grateful for my slow publishing journey too. Things happen when they are supposed to.

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    1. Natalie, I firmly believe things will happen when they're supposed to. So often we try to cram a timeline in that won't work. Then we're frustrated!

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  11. I'm learning to accept that things may not happen as fast for me as other writers. This is my dream and I want to do my best by it and my future readers. So I'm trying to take the time to learn the ropes as I push forward in my writing career.

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    1. Traci, I know how you feel. I compare my journey to others and think darn, what am I doing wrong? But we aren't doing things wrong. We're just doing what works for us in the time that's best for us.

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  12. Ha ha! you fooled me there! but I agree on the long road thing, I prefer slow long distance runs over fast short ones and I love to take time with my writing or else I'll simply go crazy!

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    1. Haneen, what's that saying? Slow and steady wins the race :)

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  13. Shortcuts are fun. You can end up almost anywhere.

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    1. Stu, of course you like shortcuts! You're a guy! My hubby would probably rather hike with you :)

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  14. You totally had me going with the carriage ride and the roses! I SOOOO agree with you that taking time on the journey makes it so much richer. Well, taking time AND mango margaritas.

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  15. Oh, this was a perfect analogy. And you had me at mango margaritas...my journey is long, arduous, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, but I know that eventually I'll reach my destination, even though right now, those rugged peaks are invisible...
    Well done.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    Co-hosting the IWSG

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  16. You got me. I fell for your "date" night hook, line and sinker.

    I couldn't agree with you more. I imposed a deadline on myself last year. I decide I HAD to have my book finished within a few months. All it did was made me feel pressure for no reason and remove the joy of writing.

    co-host IWSG
    Elsie
    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

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  17. Your opening made me chuckle! I've definitely been taking the long way on this writing journey, but I believe it's worth it. The important part was finally accepting that it's okay to go at my own pace. Thanks for the reminder!

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  18. I'm not sure meandering would describe my journey through writer-land. More like being lost most of the time. But I guess that's to be expected. I'm sure I'll be able to look back at the journey after I finish my first book and enjoy the view.

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  19. Excellent way to look at it. I have a writer friend who gets so frustrated with the long road, and she probably thinks I am crazy when I tell her...the journey is what will get us ready for the next step. We are learning and like you say, we are appreciating the steps. Go straight up and by the time you get there, you may be worn out and alone.

    Beautiful post!

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  20. What a perfect metaphor! I love to hike, but taking the time to enjoy those flowers or that view counts so much more than panting my way to the top. Now I have to remember that when I write.

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  21. I so love your hiking story and what it told you about yourself. Now I want to try a mango margarita!

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