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Monday, January 21, 2013

What About After?

Recently at my blog, I was talking about dreams. Not the kind that wake you up in the middle of the night, but the ones we chase during our waking hours. As I wrote about not giving up, another aspect of realizing a dream came to mind. The afterward part.

So let's say you've worked really hard for a lot of years to... oh, I don't know... write a book. Then you write a few books. Then you SELL those books? You realized a huge dream. Now, in actuality, you're LIVING the dream, right? But what happens if there's a side to the dream you never realized. The stressful, I-can't-do-it-all side. Then that very thing you struggled so hard for is now crushing you with stress and heartburn. (Okay, I don't actually have heartburn, but some people do.) Now what? Is it possible to find that place where the pressure doesn't intrude with your creative side...when you don't think about the end result, but instead find that happy place where the words flow and the stress melts away?

(Thought I'd include a pic of one of the things that helps ease MY stress.
Here's my cuddle monster,  Zachy. Mr Zen.)

How do you do it? No matter what your dream? How do you avoid or deal with the stress of the journey or if you're lucky... the aftermath?


Rita said...

I find the anticipation can be better than the event. I gather you are talking about writing here and perhaps your job. I too suffer in the aftermath (my post on Friday) I love to write and some of the ‘other’ stuff. By instinct humans are competitive. We strive to do our best. All the huge success stories spur us to work harder and harder to reach our dreams. When I realsized my dreams changed and grew each day I did a whoa nellie. I put a colander and foil on my head to stop all the you have to do this and you have to do that. I write what I want and do the very best I can. As you can see I’m no NYTs author so you may not want to listen to a damn thing I say

Dee J. said...

Hi Rita,
LOL. Yes, I hear you on the "whoa nellie." Juggling all of it is a work in progress for me. I'm lucky that I love both of my jobs, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a challenge to do it all. And, hey, you're not alone...for I am also not a NYTs author. Thanks for dropping in!

Anne Marie Becker said...

LOL on Rita's foil-lined colander. I feel that way, too. Often.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I made my dream come true, and now I have a new dream, but when that first dream is part of daily ritual now, it doesn't seem so glamorous. ;) To deal with the stress, I suppose I remind myself how far I've come on this journey, and to enjoy the moment.

Robena Grant said...

Yeah, this dream we chose can make us crazy if we let it. When I'm in a situation of juggling too many things, wearing too many hats, I try to view things as accomplishments. I do one or two little things every day to show me that I'm moving forward, and that I completed something. That's where my self-satisfaction comes in. When I lose it it's because I'm too scattered and nothing is getting done. : )

Samanthe Beck said...

There's a feature toward the back of every issue of the RWA magazine where they interview a high-profile author. Learning the struggles/professional trials/personal challenges some of those authors perservered through always helps me feel a little less strung-out and overwhelmed.

JB Lynn said...

Great post, Dee. I think focusing on what's under your control (your writing, your schedule) like you did when you were "just dreaming" is helpful.

I think all too often we writers don't take control of their schedule. We're afraid to say "no" to something because it MIGHT be the thing to make or break our careers.

To me, chasing a dream, while having a poor quality of life, just isn't worth it. Sure, I'll let life slide for a week or two around deadlines, but I can't imagine saying at the end of a year, "gee, I really wished I'd blogged/tweeted/jumped thru my publisher's hoops more".

Good luck with your juggling!

Dee J. said...

Hi Anne Marie,
Thank you. You're so right! I need to remind myself how far I've come. Taking each day at a time would probably not be a bad thing either. LOL. Thanks for stopping in!

Hi Robena,
Yep, when I think about everything as a whole, I get totally scattered! From now on, it's one or two little things that will move me forward. Thanks for the perspective!

Hi Samanthe,
See, I almost never even get to my RWR!! I need to do that. Thanks for the heads up. I'll check it out. I have no doubt it will make me feel better.

Hi JB,
You are so right! I think I'm better at saying at no, but I could probably just do it more often. Love your comment about the end of the year! You are so right! I know I'm lucky that I'm juggling two things I love, but I just need to get better at it. LOL. Thanks for coming by!

Lynne Marshall said...

I'm also trying to figure that out, Dee J. Starting a new book is always stressful, but having to promo other books at the same time, is crazy.

I just want to write!

Fortunately, I also love to read and get lost in other peoples wonderful books (such as yours) and that helps relax me. Walking and regular exercise also seem to help.

Toni Anderson said...

Dee J--I think it's another reason to celebrate the "highs." So easy to obsess over EVERYTHING. Very important to focus on those things we control, like JB says. It certainly isn't an easy road--but doesn't Nora say "If it were easy, everyone would be doing it?"

Dee J. said...

Hi Lynne,
Ah...yes... the days when all we had to do was write. They disappear when we're living the dream. LOL. I'm thankful that the dogs get me out of the house every day for a drag...I mean walk. It does help refresh the brain. (Of course then my brain obsesses about all the other things I need to be doing. Ugh.) I love to read too, I just barely find the time these days. (Which is a real kicker with 7 RITA books waiting for me. Ha) Breathe, breathe. I'm fine. Really.

Hi Toni,
I hear ya! I do try to celebrate the little victories. (Not to mention the big ones!) It's all about the journey. I'm just hoping to figure out/find the path instead of wading through the wilderness everyday with a machete! Thanks for stopping in!

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