Friday, January 14, 2011

Hold on Tight

"There is no rushing a river. When you go there, you go at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats."
  ~ Jeff Rennicke, River Days: Travels on Western Rivers
 
 
This quote taught me something: a writer's journey is a river. Re-read the quote. I'll wait.

Done?  Now, do you see what I mean? 
There is no rushing a book or querying or editing or publishing or sales or the next book or its sales . . . 
 
We have to go at the pace of the process and the people who are part of that process. 
 
Acceptance of that pace--real, internal acceptance of and peace with that pace--prevents the "beat-head-against-wall-crying-why-why-why" moments and lets us focus comfortably on other things in our life, other rhythms.

Writing is a whitewater raft ride down a major river - hold on tight!!
  
Happy Friday!

46 comments:

Melissa Gill said...

That is a wonderful analogy. I love it. I guess we all just have to go with the flow, huh?

Jennie Englund said...

I feel like the big wave I was riding has thinned into a bit of a creek.

Am waiting for the rapids again, but hard to paddle when the paddle keeps getting stuck on the bottom and in the reeds.

Tracy Loewer said...

This is a great reminder. I'm pretty good at going with the flow most of the time, but every once in a while I want it my way right this second!

Valerie Geary said...

Spot on. Spot, freaking, on. Also, now I want to go rafting.

Carolyn V. said...

That is just awesome Shannon! A perfect analogy. =D

Laura Marcella said...

Absolutely true. Have a wonderful weekend, Shannon!

Jen Daiker said...

This makes me happy. That is all.

Okay, so it isn't all. I just wanted to tell you I heart you! You are so awesome!!! You make me smile every time I stop by. Always so sweet!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I came to a similar realization (without the wonderful river analogy) recently. I was making myself tense and not writing as freely, due to feeling I had to hurry up and get there. From now on, I'm going to stop fighting the river and go with the flow. :D

Catherine Denton said...

This is very timely for me and encouraging. Thank you!

Bethany Mattingly said...

Great analogy! I came to that realization about a year ago. It was hard for me to accept, but I've grown so much more now that I have :)

Patti said...

My husband would like this analogy since he's a kayaker, but I totally know what your saying. Even though its hard, things happen at their own pace.

Katie Mills said...

Yes, trying to rush a book has no real benefits. Plus, live in the moment! because before you know it, the whole thing is done and written, revised and then you long for those fun days when all you had to do was 'write':)

Karen Lange said...

Wow, what wonderful advice! And timely for me today. Thanks so much:)
Happy weekend,
Karen

Heather said...

This is awesome! I love that you saw that in the quote. You're absolutely right! Sometimes your brilliance floors me. :)

KarenG said...

I often compare writing to gardening or cleaning out a closet, but I like this river analogy a lot!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Love your interpretation...we should also add completely exhausted to the end of that. =)
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Angela Felsted said...

What an amazing metaphor. And the quote you've chosen is just gorgeous.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Wow. How true. I need to allow life's pace to guide me these days and stop being so impatient. Thanks for the lovely quote. Happy weekend :)

Christine Fonseca said...

Oh yes...I LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I think I need to print it out so I can reread it from time to time, yes I do.

Meredith said...

So very true! I've been trying to learn patience to go at my own pace.

The Golden Eagle said...

I like the analogy you used. Great post!

Melissa said...

I love your posts! I love this analogy.

Kelly said...

Great analogy, and I'm really glad to be dry in my chair writing than getting splashed in that raft!

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Perfect analogy! So true :)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Very true! There is a process to follow. At times you want to pull your hair out waiting to hear something, but you're right, it flows like a river. Sometimes fast. Sometimes slow. But always at its own pace.

Great post!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

The big wave reminded me of life being all up hill then you get over the other side and it;s all downhill fron then on.

Loved the post.

Yvonne.

Old Kitty said...

Lovely analogy and fab quote, thank you!! Writing definitely makes me hold on tight for dear life as I get tossed about into the unknown! And I can't even swim! But if I survive such a ride then for me, it's a mega achievement!! Take care
x

Elle Strauss said...

This is absolutely true! I think I'm starting to accept the (snails) pace. I think I am...

Tamika: said...

I guess this would be a good time to learn how to swim:)

roxy said...

Another wonderful, positive post! I love the white water analogy and photo. My kids want to go on an adventure like that.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shannon -

I've never heard it put this way before! Right now, my writing boat (or raft) is in choppy water.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

So true. Wonder if they contain the same level of fun, fear and excitement.

To be published and white water rafting are both on my Bucket List. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm holding on!!! It's definitely a thrill ride :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Ohhh... This is definitely a white water ride. Or a roller coaster. Or both.

And just when I think I've learned acceptance of the pace, something comes along and throws me all kattywampus again. (I really have no idea how to spell kattywampus and I'm too lazy to google it).

Stick with it- this is a crazy game we're going to win! (That really just mucked up the nice analogy you had. Sorry.)

Cinette said...

Truer words have never been spoken; we all have our own rythyms that we can't force. Thanks for the reminder.

Deb said...

Wow...you kind of just nailed that analogy!! Nice!

Elana Johnson said...

This is beyond true. It's like trying to melt a glacier with a hair dryer. It's never going to work, and if it did, it would take millions of years.

Great quote!

Carla said...

This is great! It reminds me of Pocahontas canoeing down a waterfall--I love it!

~Carla

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss shannon! that pictures pretty exciting. all my brothers did that and i can go when im 12. i like how you made it into writing stuff. for sure once you get going on that river you just gotta keep going even when it gets hard any you get going over those rapids and rocks. at the end one of my brothers say its a natural high.
...hugs from lenny

storyqueen said...

I like the river analogy, but right now it feels kind of like a roller coaster....that is stuck in a dark tunnel.

Shelley

DL Hammons said...

Awesome analogy Shannon! Yeee Haw!!!! :)

Patti Lacy said...

Shannon, this is SO TRUE! I wish I would'a heard it at the first!

Blessings,
Patti

CMOM Productions said...

I love that quote! It's perfect!

Angela Ackerman said...

I like how you always put things into perspective!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon .. life takes us along at its pace .. and life rushes by .. something we need to remember - haul the boat in & savour the time ..

Hold on tight but live in the moment .. great thought .. Hilary

Jen Chandler said...

This is a great visual!

I'm used to the crazy, white water pace. Can we have some smooth sailing for a bit? Just a little?

Eh-where's the excitement in that?

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