Thursday, January 5, 2012

Do You Wallow?

What goals have you set for the year? I've set several, but have mostly been pondering the big picture.

Why?

Because I realized recently that I've been wallowing.

How?

By allowing circular conversations in my head to discourage and defeat me.

They go a lot like this:

"You don't know enough to apply for that writing job."

"You don't have the right clips to send to that editor."

"You've wasted too much time, there's no sense in starting now."

Just so you know, I am normally an optimist, you know, a glass half full kind of gal. But I let down my guard through a handful of events over the past few years. I know better, but I let it happen anyway. And you know, sometimes it just seems easier to stay in the mud and wallow, rather than make an effort to pull yourself out.

But I've had enough. I've beat myself up way too much, sniffled and sniveled over things I can't change. It's a new year, and the future is all I have. It's time to move forward.

What's my battle plan?

1) When tempted to wallow, push through and redirect lousy thoughts. Seek Godly wisdom, pray, and affirm positive truths.

2) Frame the big goals. Attack the WIP more diligently and actively seek more freelance work.

3) Assess how my time is spent, and target wasted areas as potential for productive use.

4) Count my blessings, and rejoice in the accomplishments, no matter how small.

So what about you, ever find yourself wallowing? What do you do? The future is all we have! Who's moving forward with me?

Have a great weekend!

Blessings,

Karen

Photo credit: Stock Exchange

38 comments :

  1. Great insight. I recognize myself in this post. When it comes to writing, it's easy to let insecurities rule. Awareness is the first step, I think.

    Good luck in 2012. You're worthy!

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  2. I am of the opinion that the worst that can happen is someone will say, NO. That doesn;t mean that I don't allow doubt to creep in. I just won't allow it to stop me.

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  3. The 'it's too late to start now' one has killed off more great ambitions than anything else. It's never too late! Besides, through God, all things are possible.

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  4. The future is a gift, isn't it? I'm open to doing whatever God wants for me this year, thankful I'm still here and hoping to write what He wants!

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  5. This is great, Karen! I know just what you're talking about. This year, I'm clinging to three little words that encompass one big truth: "All is well." And I'll keep writing, watering it all with prayer and waiting to see what God will do.

    Happy, happy New Year!

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  6. Great list, Karen--worth printing out and posting next to the computer as a reminder! Assessing my time is a big one for me--how often do I say I don't have enough when actually I waste alot of it? Hmmm...

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  7. Theresa,
    I suppose we all do it at one time or another about different things. As you said, awareness is key. Thanks for your encouraging words! :)

    Linda,
    Very true! And a good way to help keep perspective, that's for sure. We will keep moving ahead!

    Alex,
    You're right, it is never too late! And as you said, nothing is impossible with God on our side. :)

    Terri,
    That's a great way to look at it! Each day is a gift and we need to be thankful!

    Kenda,
    Thank you. I'm glad you think it's helpful. :) I'm in the same boat - many wasted minutes some days. Working on changing that!

    Thanks and blessings all,
    Karen

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  8. For me, to wallow is to second guess which always leads to either doubt or guilt. It's a tough one to nip in the bud, especially if it takes place in the night. Mud is always thicker in the dark!

    Sometimes I allow it for awhile before giving it the boot. It takes focus (and large doses of prayer) at times. Clear thoughts always engender creativity.

    Blessings,
    Kathleen

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  9. Hi Karen...

    Oh, I guess I've done my share of wallowing.

    I have two of your goals for SURE. One is to continue working on daily entries in my huge, THICK gratitude journal.

    Second is to continue to seek more freelance markets for my writing.

    I LOVE January as it truly is a blank slate.

    Take care and let's have a productive year with peaceful hearts. Susan

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  10. Kathleen,
    How true that is, mud IS always thicker in the dark! As Theresa said, an awareness is one of the first steps.

    Susan,
    Haven't we all? Yes, I guess January is a blank slate, isn't it? Hoping you have a productive year as well!

    Blessings to you both,
    Karen

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  11. Hi Karen,
    Guilty. I'm a wallower too. I try to get organized by listing deadlines and planning to submit, then when the deadline approaches I decide I don't have anything to submit, or I find something after the deadline has past.

    One of my goals is to get more organized.

    Donna

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  12. Oh Karen, I love your honesty! we all go through it, no doubt! Personally, I had to look up the word 'wallow' haha, I guess it has its advantages to have limited knowledge of the English language. Even if I wallowed, I wouldn't know I did it :)
    Blessings to you and your fabulous writing this year Karen. Can I lift your spirits by offering you an interview for some time next month on my blog? Small gesture, but it might help... if you decide to do this, please email me meijers.marja@gmail.com if not, that's okay too.

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  13. I read a book that really helped me pull out of the negative frame of mind--it was called 'Change Your Questions, Change Your Life.' Even though it was primarily a book for business, the lessons apply across the board to life in general. It's really a matter of thinking differently. When something happens, we think, 'Why can't I catch a break? Why aren't I good enough? Why can't I find an agent or editor who sees the potential in my work?" These are all negative questions. By changing it to ask, "What can I learn from this? What good can be taken away from this? What can I try to achieve a different result?" I found that I was put back on track faster and I was more productive and less prone to feeling depressed over things.

    You're moving ahead in just the right manner. Everything you do is getting you closer to your goals, and allowing you to grow as a writer and a person. That's no small thing now, is it?

    Have a great week, Karen. Hope your holiday was great!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  14. Donna,
    To me, it's amazing just how many things can pop up and distract me sometimes! Better organization would help, so I'm with you. Time to get better organized! :)

    Marja,
    Had to laugh, Marja, maybe you're right. If we don't know what wallow means, then how can we know we're doing it! lol And yes, I would love to do an interview. You are a sweetheart. Will email you soon. Enjoyed your interview with Diane the other day!

    Angela,
    Thanks for your encouragement and insight! I like the principles in the book you mentioned. I agree, they do parallel so many other things. Good stuff! Thanks so much!

    Thanks and blessings, all,
    Karen

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  15. Redirection of lousy thoughts is key. Lead them captive and right out the door! I sometimes yell at them and tell these thoughts they have no authority over me. I make sure my windows are closed so my neighbors don't think I'm nuts.

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  16. Karen:
    YES, I wallow. I sometimes feel that I am not good enough to enter a contest or submit something. I know I have to get over this. This wallowing could fall under the heading of "Occupational Hazard."

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  17. Stephen,
    Yes, you're right, redirection is a must, in every area that those lousy thoughts dare to tread. Somehow I'm thinking some people might think us writers are nuts anyway, closed windows or not! lol

    Cecelia,
    I am glad to know I am not alone, yet I don't want anyone to suffer hardship either. I think you are right though, it is an occupational hazard we must stomp when it pops up.

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  18. I don't seem to be wallowing as much as garnering courage to try some new things. I'm afraid to look like a newbie or embarass myself but then again who is looking?

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  19. Hi Karen and welcome to 2012, and like what one of your readers had said i really hate when somebody tells me that something can not be done! Richard

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  20. Yeah, evaluating wasted time is something I intend to do as well. So I'm with you sister. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  21. Sally,
    That's a good perspective to have to turn into a positive! Who is looking, and who cares anyway? Nothing ventured, nothing gained! :)

    Richard,
    Yes, use that as a catalyst! Go ahead, tell me I can't and then just watch me! Okay, now we're ready to go, right? :)

    Jules,
    I'm thinking we should start a club and then meet at Starbucks to discuss how to tackle wasted time. Sounds like a plan. You in? :)

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  22. Hi Karen, I am a wallower too. Sometimes I over indulge in self-pity, but then wiser counsel prevails and I jump out quickly. Have a lovely weekend.

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  23. Those are good goals. Except, if I have some extra time, I need to take it off. I still have a writer's mind and emotions, even though I'm not writing on a project right now. I still need time to pause and think, to stare at things and see if they have anything new to say. I do hope to move forward in this new year and enjoy the process more.

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  24. Oh yes, I can be an expert at wallowing, much to my husband's frustration sometimes. :) I love your tips. Staying grounded in the Word always keeps God's promises at the forefront of my mind too.

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  25. Rachna,
    I think we all do it from time to time, you know? Glad you have a good plan of attack to hop out of it! :)

    Nancy,
    You are probably wise to take time off. I think that can be just as productive and therapeutic!

    Sarah,
    Me too! Ah well, let's be works in progress together, shall we? More than conquerors too!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  26. Wise and encouraging - thanks for giving me a fresh perspective by sharing yours.

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  27. You can do anything you put your mind too! sandie

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  28. Yes, I wallow. I wallow and wallow and wallow. *sigh* And then I stand up, brush off, and move on! As to submitting I figure I have to give them a chance to say no...or yes. :)

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  29. That is exactly what you should do. You are your worse enemy and your own best friend. Good luck!

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  30. Annie,
    Thank you so much. I appreciate your kindness and support. :)

    Sandie,
    This is true! Let's get things done this year, what do you say? :)

    Lisa,
    I think we all help each other move on in some ways, don't you think? :)

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  31. Lydia,
    Good point. I think we trip ourselves up way too much sometimes! :)

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  32. My late hubby called it, "Stinkin' thinkin'." I've been guilty of this more than I'd care to admit.

    Right now, I'm praying for direction with my writing. What's the next right step in my journey? Although I've been tempted, the one step that isn't an option is quitting.

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  33. Most of my life, I've been going to "start Monday"...this week I really am! Thanks for the timely post. Also, thanks for stopping by my blog today and posting.

    I will definitely be back here often as I can see that you offer exactly what I am searching for in my blogging and personal journey.
    God bless!
    Ron Easton

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  34. Susan,
    And he was right! Good phrase to remember, that's for sure. Nope, quitting is not an option!

    Ron,
    Yes, me too. Time's awastin', as they say, so I aim to make the best of this year. Thanks for coming by. I enjoyed my stop at your blog!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  35. I'm moving forward with you, Karen! I know what circular, self-defeatist thoughts are all about. Like you, I've learned to nip them in the bud by redirecting my thinking and by taking purposeful steps forward, even when all I can see is the long road ahead.

    Wishing you a peaceful and productive 2012!

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  36. Hi Karen .. "Wallow" to me - means Flanders and Swann .. and the Hippotamus song .. the refrain of which goes:

    'Mud, Mud, glorious mud
    Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!
    So follow me, follow
    Down to the hollow
    And there let us wallow
    In glorious mud'

    Just me .. occasionally I wallow - but soon I'm galvanised into action: Happy New Year .. cheers Hilary

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  37. Janette,
    Yes, let's skip ahead together. :) Although it has been a long time since I actually skipped...maybe I need to give it a try! lol

    Hilary,
    Love it! You are always so inspired! So glad you shared this with us. Made me smile. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  38. Thanks Karen .. here's the link to the post on my blog - which was obo Lenny Lee .. I'm sure you've seen him around .. he's a great kid ..

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/2011/06/lenny-lee-fest.html

    Cheers Hilary

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!