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Thursday, February 28, 2013

One Foot in Front of the Other

A couple of weeks ago, when LD Masterson, Angela Brown and I attended ConDFW we met up with an old friend of mine. I hadn't seen her in a couple of years and she asked me what I'd been up to.

My first thought was--nothing. I haven't done anything of import, and truth be told, half the time I feel like I'm running in place. 

But then Angela started chiming in on the books I had published, and LD mentioned my work with Book Cover Diva. I was gobsmacked as they rattled off a laundry list of my accomplishments. 

Even though it felt as if I'd been standing still, I really had been busy. I've been a good mule, completing or mastering tasks slowly but steadily.

It made me wonder if I'm the only one who feels they never move forward. Maybe we all move forward, but the steps are so incremental that we don't realize we're making progress.

For instance: Writers, I'll bet your writing is far more mature than it was two years ago. If you're a gardener, I'll bet you don't make the same mistakes twice. And if you're a reader, I'd wager your range and understanding has grown from where you were a couple of years ago.

The point is, none of us really stand still. We're always growing, maturing, and accumulating experiences for our life's resume. Click to reTweet this quote.

So what does your life resume look like? Tell me what you've accomplished in the last two years. Jobs, children, education, WIPs, publications? Which accomplishment are you most excited about?




30 comments:

Renee Miller said...

Yeah, I'd definitely say you haven't stood still, but I do know the feeling. I always feel like I'm spinning my wheels, but when I'm forced to stop and really think about what I've done over a period of time, I realize I'm wrong.

In two years I've made a career out of writing (freelancing) so I could give up the day job (daycare, etc.), I've launched a website (jury's still out on that one), written a handful of novels (not published), co-authored and published a book on the craft of writing, and published my first novel. There are other achievements in there, but just those relating to my goals are pretty darn good. I might not be where I want to be, but like you, certainly not standing still.

Thanks for this post. I was feeling a little stagnant today. This was a good morale booster. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Renee: Holy moley, woman, you've gotten truckloads of things done. I'm especially jealous of your freelance career. I've tried several times, but I just can't fit another thing--or I haven't figured out how to shuffle it in.

Plus you have children. Granted, according to you, your housework sucks, but hey, that's a small price to pay for greatness. :o)

Sarah Ahiers said...

SPOT ON.
When people ask me what's new, i always say "nothing" because it seems that way to me. But obviously that's not true

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: When it comes to ourselves, we have the worst perspective. I always look better through someone else's eyes. LOL.

E.J. Wesley said...

Definitely feel this way at times. I published my first story last year, and then the second, working on the third--which seems like a huge deal. (And is according to me from five years ago. :) However, it can all feel like throwing a pebble in the ocean at times.

I suppose life truly is just a collection of moments...

Mike Keyton said...

Enjoy what you're doing, work hard and don't stop. That's about it, I guess.

Angela Brown said...

I have to admit, the look on your face as we starting rattling off your accomplishments was priceless...the good kind. You truly hadn't sat down to see all the great literary work you've pushed out while running one heck of a well-oiled homestead.

If i go back two years, that's 2011. Since then, I completed my bachelors in business degree program, started a blog that is slowly and steadily growing (thanks Maria for the encouragement to start it!!), self-pubbed Neverlove, have Ripped Ties in the ABNA, have Frailties of the Bond (novella) coming out in a few weeks and am working toward ending my first MG fairytale smash up draft so I can get the sequel to Neverlove on paper...while working full-time still (trying to get to where I can write full-time) and taking care of my Chipmunk as a single mother.

Hmmm...insanity may be imminent lol!!

raelynbarclay said...

Made it through another year with the wee beasties, LOL.

You've definitely had a productive few of years! You exhaust me :)

Jackie Burris said...

Survived life's curveballs is my greatest accomplishment in the past couple of years, nothing really outstanding comes to mind other than the fun that I had last summer learning how to cook from scratch again with all the fresh vegetables from our little backyard garden.

Maria you put people in their teens to shame, never can I say have met someone with as much drive and energy as you in one package! Keep on trucking woman, staying active is the best medicine to keep you "young at heart" and "sound in mind and body".

Maria Zannini said...

EJ: Re: collection of moments

What a good way to put it. By themselves it doesn't seem like a lot, but when you look back, it's like, whoa, no wonder I'm tired. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: I've always enjoyed working--no matter what kind of work it was. It was like a personal challenge to master it and move on. But I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to try writing. :o)

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: You really did startle me. When you started listing titles, I was like, wow, and here I thought I had been a slug.

And you've blossomed in the last two years. I can tell you're more confident and more mature in your writing and networking. I'm taking lessons from you now. :o)

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: Let's call us even. I am pretty sure your wee beasties would have me for dinner and then spit me out. LOL!

Raising kids is like an extreme sport.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Oh, woman, after what you suffered that's a huge accomplishment. People don't realize how difficult it is to rebuild when everything's been taken away from you. Yes, you might save a few things, but to have your home ripped from under you is traumatic.

Re: energy
If it's any condolence to teenagers, I am slowing down a bit. Now they can catch up to me. LOL!

Jenny Schwartz said...

I read somewhere once that we're always moving our baselines. Use skipping as an example. When you first manage to jump the rope rather than fall flat on your face, ankles tangled, you think you're awesome. Within a week, you forget that and instead think that awesome would be crossing the rope as you jump through it. We take our new skills for granted and forget that just a few weeks ago we didn't have them.

I try to remind myself of this, but when someone asks what I've been doing, I tend to use the equivalent of "nothing": "not much". :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I kind of feel the same way as you. But then I look back and realize I have moved forward at the steady pace. I hope to pick up that pace in a few months when I retire from teaching.

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: I think that's true. I know I'm always moving my benchmarks as tick things off my list. But isn't it funny that we don't notice sometimes big accomplishments. It's like it happened to someone else.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: Don't be surprised if you don't get as much done as you expected after your retirement. Life has a way of adding on little things that take up the extra time.

I know that's been true for me and for every other retired person I know. It just works out that way.

I will admit that it took me six months before I stopped waking up at 4:30am. It took me that long to accept I didn't have somewhere else to go.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I do the same thing. Them: How's it going? Whatcha been up to? Me: Oh, fine, same old, same old. My friends: And she published a book. Me: Oh, yeah, well, there's that.

^_^

Gwen Gardner said...

LOL, it seems to me like you're always doing something, from writing to designing, to adopting puppies, plowing fields and planting - not to mention putting out books!

But I do know what you mean - I feel like I'm standing still at times. I'm just slow, lol. At least I'm not backing up.

How wonderful you got to meet Angela and Linda!

Giacomo Giammatteo said...

Maria, I was supposed to be working towards retirement; instead, I'm working harder than I have in years. I don't think that's moving forward, but who's to say? Anyway, I think as we all get older we learn that we might have to do things differently, but we still get it done!

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: I think it's funny that before I published I thought it was a stupendous accomplishment. But looking back, it's just another cog on the wheel.

Maria Zannini said...

Gwen: Backing up is GOOD. I may not like standing still, but I don't want to go backward. LOL. It took me too long to get where I am.

Maria Zannini said...

Jim: Retirement is such a misnomer. I'm busier now than when I worked a full time job.

LD Masterson said...

Well, pooh. Now I'm feeling really unaccomplished,

Maria Zannini said...

LD: You're not seeing the forest for the trees. Did you not find the ending for your latest wip? And did you not sort out the timeline? It's all progress.

Cate Masters said...

I know exactly how you feel! I often seem to be spinning my wheels - in mud - but when I stop to consider, I've actually accomplished quite a bit. Just not everything I wanted to do. :)
Two years is the perfect time frame. Almost to the day, two years ago we took in our grandboys, then aged 1 and 2. My priorities underwent a huge reset, but the rewards have been amazing. And I manage to get some writing in too.
Hard to believe you question all you've done, though - I am always in awe of you!

Suzanne Brandyn said...

I think I've been popping in here during the last two years and I see many accomplishments. As for myself, I too answer questions like you do. Oh, not much, keeping busy. I've accomplished a bit but I'm not one to ramble, although my big dream is still within reach I guess I'll get there one day lol.
Within two years I've had three novels published by a small press company., and I'm just about to publish another. So the stepping stones are in place. Two years from now I hope to reach my ultimate destination.

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: Reset is such a good word. Every so often, things happen that resets my whole 'plan'. When I was younger, it used to annoy me. But now I embrace the changes. You never know where those resets will take you.

I'm so glad your grandboys had you in their lives.

Maria Zannini said...

Suzanne: But is it ever the ultimate destination? It's kind of like Jenny Schwartz said above, our baselines are always moving. What we thought was the pinnacle turns out to be one step in many.

But I hope you reach that step very soon.