Friday, April 26, 2013

How to find Happiness A-Z: W


Edison - Opportunity
Image courtesy of www.localvox.com

W is for all the work.

Looking back over the years, I often wonder when was I the happiest. Do you ever pause and ponder that? In my "E" post I talked about education, and how the times I've been learning are the times I'm happiest. That's because I'm working toward a goal.

I've never appreciated my music talents as much as I should. They come easily. But writing? Writing has always been a challenge. I have an abstract brain. What I mean is, I get modern art. Poetry is a cinch. Artsy-fartsy mumbo-jumbo clicks.

Image courtesy of thisisbossi
Suffice it to say, I've had to work hard at writing to make sure all that abstractness fades away. I've dedicated years to this pursuit, feeling I lacked the natural talent many of my peers were blessed with. The other day I read this in How to Write  Damn Good Novel by James N Fray:

"Most of these folks with so much raw talent will not make it as a novelist. Why? Because they lack what's truly necessary: self-discipline, dogged determination, and stick-to-tiveness."

This is my golden prize. This is the next big mountain I've been climbing, and some day I'm going to look back and see the effort has paid off. Regardless, my joy doesn't come from the view at the end, it's a part of every step, every new concept mastered, every page completed, and every head-pounding frustration along the way.

What are you working toward? And do you find joy in your labor?

32 comments:

  1. lots to think about in this post--thanks crystal----and hey maybe some people could become famous after they are dead :)

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    1. I'd take it. Then you don't have to deal with the pavarazzi, eh?

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  2. Someone once told me that my name (Tracy) means Industrious. I have always loved to work on a project, no matter how big or small...although I have to admit I love something big so sink my teeth into! Lately our big project is the rental property we are renovating, and yes, Ornery and I have both found MUCH joy in our labor. I would rather work than play any time--which must make me rather dull!
    tm

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    1. A la contraire, I think that makes you fascinating and unique.

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    2. Does that mean contraire on the side?

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    3. Funny. *pointing, whispering* He thinks he's funny.

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  3. I love the quote with the pic. :)

    It's tricky to remember to focus on the journey and not only on the destination. I have to remind myself of that a lot. I also need to step back now and then and re-evaluate to avoid burnout.

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    1. Or occasionally sit back with a novel to avoid burn out? That's my solution. ;)

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  4. I think that everyone needs "self-discipline, dogged determination, and stick-to-tiveness" and a hefty dose of self-worth. I think we fail to understand that our voice is unique and therefore worthy of the success. All that work is for nothing if we don't feel that we are good enough or lack talent. BTW, Crystal, you are worthy.

    http://completelycalifornia.blogspot.com/

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    1. Aw, thanks Ann. The last industry book I read has me feeling like a small fry again. :)

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  5. I agree. The work is what makes it work. I've heard another quote that I like "The harder I work, the luckier I get." I think that's true too. And hard work is the only way to get anywhere with novels.

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    1. Ooh, that's an excellent quote. I need to add that to my internal motivational dialog. (Enough adjectives there for you?)

      :D

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  6. Like you - music is the "natural talent." Writing is NOT and i am grateful you mention this - it's good to know I'm not alone.

    I have learned that speaking can be a lot like the concert work i used to do . . . In all you adventures, be happy! -g-

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    1. Oh, another like-minded lunatic! Wahoo!

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  7. Right now I'm working toward a master's degree, and need to study some math over the summer so I can take the GRE and be officially admitted into the program. I'm hoping to work in an archive, museum, or academic library after I have my degree. The ultimate goal I'm working towards is my dream of someday winning a Nobel Prize in Literature.

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    1. Whew! Great ambition. I think I would die of ecstasy if I worked in an archive or library of any sort. That, or I'd die from over-reading. Is that possible? *gulp*

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  8. I have a ton of projects that I'm working on at the moment and often wish I didn't have to go to work every day. But sometimes I think having my day job keeps me fairly sane... well, almost. ;-)

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    1. --I'll second that. There needs to be a balance, right?

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  9. I'm working toward filling up my store on ArtFire. I enjoy making my beaded designs, but I don't really enjoy the SEO work that comes afterward.

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    1. I hear you! Creation is the fun part. Telling people about it? Um, yeah, I'll pass.

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  10. Your natural talent with music is an asset to writing because of the rhythm, the phrasing, so in many ways you're ahead of the game. :) Enjoyed your post.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

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    1. LOL--except I stink with rhythm. ;) So glad to have met you!

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  11. the work I enjoy best, is the kind where your efforts are visible, I used to love doing tractor work, after a long, hot day, I could look over the field and see the job I had done - and unlike these days, I would work start to finish and not stop until I was done, or the equipment broke

    enjoyed your thoughtful post

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    1. It's so rewarding to be able to see what you've done! I think that's one reason writing can be discouraging. You don't have a clearly visible project. You may have slightly altered the word count at the end of the day, but what is that? A couple pages? A new scene? Stronger emotions? Prettier language?

      Thank you for participating, Diana!

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  12. I totally agree! Speaking of working hard, I should probably put a dent in some writing books and order a few more. It's a lot more tempting to read Calvin and Hobbes instead of writing books though. ;)

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    1. LOL. I feel the same way about YA novels.

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  13. My writing and my music keep me happy. Most of my happiness comes from those and when my album and book are released this year it'll be smiles all the way. Thanks for dropping by for the A-Z! See you again.

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    1. Here's hoping so! What an exciting step forward. =)

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  14. My glass art makes me happy :). I love makong it and seeing the finished product!!

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    1. I like seeing your finished product too.

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  15. My biggest goal for myself: run a marathon. Running is hard for me. I can't breathe when I run. I ran every day of my mission and it never got easier. If I can learn to run enough to complete a marathon, even coming in last, it will be possibly the biggest accomplishment in my life.

    I just never seem to have the guts to start training, because I can't breathe and it scares me. Sigh. But it is a goal that I am not willing to let die, so I think tomorrow I will start. Not today because it is nearly 10. :) Wish me luck!

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    1. Have you tried an inhaler? I have exercise induced asthma, and dad gave me an inhaler after running the mile had me coughing for 3 days. Made a world of difference. =) And GOOD LUCK!

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Hit me with your cheese!