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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Zen 101



Okay guys, I'm about to go all Zen on you.

The last few weeks in Writing-Land have been a roller coaster ride, one filled with loop-de-loops and stomach curdling drops. I'm not a huge fan of roller coasters- I prefer the Ferris Wheel to the Zipper.

Like a little sign, my daughter was playing with a box and found some old Zen cards I'd forgotten about. After college I had a job I hated and would carry some of the cards in my pocket to remind me to find peace and happiness in every situation.

I need those reminders right now.


Understand that the journey is as important as the destination. Enjoy every moment, and live fully.


We all want to be published, but right now I need to appreciate the growth I've made as a writer over the last year, month, week, and even day. I've completed a novel, am about to finish another, and am currently foxholed in the query trenches. It's a struggle to remember the journey as the most important thing, but that's my new mantra.

What about you? What do you struggle with as a writer? I've got a whole smorgasbord of Zen sayings so if you tell me, I'm pretty sure I can help sprinkle us with a little peace next week. And maybe even the following week.

Have a lovely weekend!

21 comments:

Natalie said...

Oy, I totally know how you feel. There's so much WAITING involved in the publishing process. It's hard to be patient and let go of the things we can't control.

Piedmont Writer said...

I have so got to dig my 'cards' out. What does your ZEN have to say about deliberate procrastination? I can almost hear the answer. lol

DL Hammons said...

Stephanie~ I'm here via two of your other followers (Shannon & Jemi). I'm on a quest to have a follower in every state and they suggested you would be an excellent representative for Alaska. :)

I've not ventured into the query waters just yet. I'm poised on the edge, adjusting my face mask, sticking in my ear plugs, taking deep breaths! I've committed to diving in by August 1. *shudder*

I'll send some positive thoughts your way!! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I think my biggest challenge (aside from the always elusive time) is courage. I'm terrified of putting my story out there, terrified of NOT putting my story out there... everything is a contradiction. *sigh*

J. L. Jackson said...

I understand your feelings. I haven't yet started the query process and I am very nervous about it. I know you are attached to your story as I am mine. I know it will all work out well for us in the end.

Besides, we have to be able to read each other's stories!

Vicki Rocho said...

first....cool pic up top...

Second my biggest thing is my patience or lack thereof. I know what I need to do, but it's not happening fast enough to satisfy.

Of course if I spent more time writing and less time blogging/surfing I might have been done with the book by now.

High Heeled Life said...

I'm just approaching the great open ocean of writing. Still lingering on the sand, letting my feet feel the tide for a brief moment before pulling them back.

I know I have a story to tell, its inside of me like a jumbled puzzle of words. If I could only get the outer pieces to join, the inside would evolve naturally - perhaps slowly put it would, I feel it.

Your post today was very inspiring not only for writing - but as it applies to life.

If you have an opportunity pop over for a visit - www.attitudeIVLife.blogspot.com

Have a great week-end! HHL

Aubrie said...

Hang in there!

I don't like roller coasters, either! But the Ferris wheel...very nice :)

I struggle with all the rejections I get on my queries. Each one makes me doubt myself. I hate getting them.

Amalia T. said...

That's exactly it-- It's about the writing, not the publication :) I'm glad you found your Zen cards!

Right now, I struggle with focus. Blech. But it isn't anything I won't get a handle on, I think. Maybe. I hope. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

For me it's knowing if the ms if ready. My current wip wasn't, even though my last crit group thought it was (or at least didn't bother to tell me it wasn't ready). One member loved the first chapter so much, she was positive that it and the query would land me tons of requests.

ahahahahaha

Apparently not! But after taking some writers workshops and getting feedback from a new group of critters, I'm getting closer. :)

L. T. Host said...

Ohhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm...

:)

I need some zen right now, so thank you!

My biggest issue? I don't have TIME to query right now. I said I'd wait til after the wedding, but I want to do it NOW!!

Not that I need the additional stress. But it doesn't stop me from wanting to. And hence the needing zen.

Bane of Anubis said...

Enjoy the journey. Not sure how right now b/c the journey's kinda sucking :)

Cynthia Reese said...

So true ... so absolutely true. When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang tight.

Kittie Howard said...

Stephanie, please sprinkle a little Zen over Northern Virginia...yesterday was one of those days, groan...but, hey, I loved that you loved my mom said that's what men say when women think...she was ahead of her time. If you get a chance, check out Gumbo Writer (a blog I follow). Angie Ledbetter is co-editor of a publishing house in New Orleans that searches for new talent...the blog's a gumbo of stuff, but, make no mistake about it, she's a professional editor. (And I don't know her other than following her blog. But I Googled her firm and AhhA, I don't have a WIP now, but you do. And almost forgot, read on another blog about a gal who got published thru Lyrical Press, which doesn't require/need agents. (think it was Talli Roland's blog.)Good luck!!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I know exactly what you're feeling. But keep your head down and push on. It's really worth all the blood, sweat and tears in the end. ;)

Amanda Sablan said...

A book on Hatshepsut! Every now and again I read something like that and your book sounds like my kind of read!

I think I struggle most with scene placement. I'd like to say the way my novel is set up works fine, but it's definitely a bit erratic. It wasn't until I made it to my second that I began outlining.

Lydia Kang said...

I've been on the virtual roller coaster this week. And I feel sick from it! Writing is not easy. But I keep reminding myself that perseverance means everything.
Nice blog! and Nice to meet you!

Caroline Tung Richmond said...

I love this post, Stephanie! I think we writers often need a reminder like this to help us through the roller-coaster times.

Thanks for the bit of zen and I hope you have a good weekend!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Hate the waiting, but got lots of ideas building up so keeping myself busy :) and just decided to try video posts as well as written posts on my blog *gulp* so little nervous to see how that goes...

Jennifer Swan said...

So many of us are in the exact same fox hole! I wrote about the confusing query ride to publication just last week. I hope you'll check it out and have a laugh. http://jenniferswan.net/2010/05/26/the-metaphoric-query-letter/

Good luck!

Libbie H. said...

I struggle with tapping into the emotions I need to access in order to write Scene X or Chapter Y credibly. Recently, though, I've started keeping a journal in which I write just before I do my "real" writing for the day. This way, if I know what mood I need to access in order to write today's scene, I can get myself all revved up by journaling about stuff that makes me feel the correct mood.