Slow Burn

It’s the first Thursday of the month, so here I am to give you some of my immense wisdom (or my two-cent blathering, whichever you prefer). It also happens to be the first day of September. I can’t really believe it, can you? I mean, Jove is already talking about the Hootenanny, for Pete’s sake!

It’s fascinating how quickly the year flies by, isn’t it? We’re always so busy do our stuff—whatever that stuff happens to be—and before we know it, a week, a month, a year has flown by.

Now is when many of us start thinking about what our goals for the year were, and freaking out when we realize we haven’t accomplished all (if any) of them.

Although I didn’t meet all my goal this year, I did accomplish one thing: I came to understand that I can do things at my own pace and it’s okay because no one is harder on me than myself. AND no matter how hard I try, I can’t force things to work out the way I want them to. All I can do is my best and hope that things do work out the way I want.original

Having said that, I have an ambitious list of projects on my agenda (well, ambitious for me). I’m working on a novella that I’m contracted for, I have two novels in progress, and another one on the back burner. On the nonfiction side, I have something coming out shortly and I’m currently working on another project.

It’s a lot for me, and in the past I would have been all edgy and anxious, wondering how am I going to get all this done? And when?

But this year, I find myself oddly calm about it all. I mean, I may have moments of anxiety, but overall I’m being uncharacteristically Zen about it. Don’t get nutso about it, it will get done, and nothing is going to be any different if you complete it sooner rather than later. I’ve bitched about this in various ways, both here and at my personal blog (, but it’s all been part of figuring stuff out.

I’m learning—albeit slowly—to slow down to a more manageable pace. I even spent an entire day last week doing nothing, which for me is insane! (See my blog HERE.) Maybe someday I’ll learn how to actually, fully relax. I’m working on it.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t figured out much. But I have figured out one thing: we have no control over anything. So why keep trying? All we can do is our best. All we can do is to do the things that take us along the path we want to do down. All we can do is hope that we get where we want to go.Slow-down-and-enjoy-life

But because we can’t control the outcome of anything, we shouldn’t stress ourselves along the way. Of course, we will sometimes, but if we can learn to recognize those moments and see that we are being too hard on ourselves, we can pull back and tell ourselves to just stop it.

At those times, do something that will make you feel better. Turn on some music, read a story, have some wine or coffee or tea or lemonade, watch Orange is the New Black, whatever. Then, with a clearer head, begin working on your tasks again. Hopefully, it will be with less stress and a brighter outlook.

Don’t worry, your stories will get written—except that it will be at your pace, not someone else’s. Instead of a fast-and-furious output, you’ll have a slow burn effect. And sometimes those are better.



  1. I’ve been out of town, but I saved this to read. I’ve always believed no one writes, “I wished I’d worked more” on her tombstone. It is what it is and it will be there tomorrow if it doesn’t get done today.


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