No Day But Today

I’m nearing the end of THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin, and it’s making me think a lot. I found the book in a very odd way – after our trip to Disney World in June, my husband randomly found a photo via Google of a couple going down Splash Mountain (our favourite ride) posing with a Jenga game. It’s a great photo. The woman in the photo ran 30candles.net, a “30 before 30” list, and one of the items was taking a ridiculous Splash Mountain photo (I know what I’m stealing for my “Before I’m 40” list ;).

ANYHOW, on her page she mentioned Rubin’s book, and I loved the whole idea – the list, the book, and the project. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it. It’s not a one-size-fits-all book, but it’s got some fantastic ideas and how they played out in Rubin’s life.

The first thing on my list of notes taken from her book is this:

Nothing is insurmountable if you do what ought to be done, little by little.

No news flash there – it’s a summation of Dale Carnegie and a thousand others’ mantras, but as I say, it’s the first thing in Rubin’s book that put my pen to notebook. I’m learning this slowly over the last few years. The other week when the Scotsman and I climbed Buachaille Etive MΓ²r in Glencoe, it reminded me that theΒ first time we climbed it, I was new to hillwalking. I was nervous, especially during the scrambling bit. But I kept telling myself, “This is like writing. One step at a time. Just do what’s right under my feet, and that’ll take me to the next bit. One step at a time.” And I was amazed, and so proud, when we finished. I’m not an unfit person but this was a big deal for me, mentally as much as physically, being afraid of heights, falling, and all the rest.

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It’s a sentiment shared widely in the writing community, particularly among those of us un-agented and unpublished, with good reason. Little by little, a word becomes a page, becomes a chapter, becomes a book. Then you start over… edit, revise, cut. But it is that simple. One word at a time. I have to remind myself of this – and maybe others are the same – because I’m one who gets all too easily overwhelmed in life. One step at a time.

“No Day But Today” is one of my favourite songs (from the musical RENT). I used it as the song my bridesmaids walked down the aisle to last year, before I entered the room (I walked to my favourite piece of music of all time, “Glasgow Love Theme” by Craig Armstrong), because I think the message is universal. There’s only now and here, and I can happily say that finally in my life, I’ve gotten to the place where I’m grateful for every day and try to get the most out of every moment I possibly can, because I’ll miss it when it’s gone – especially the smaller moments. I might only get one chapter edited today, or I might not get any done if another moment takes over. But the important part that this book has brought to mind is that any mountain can be overcome if you take one step at a time, and today is your best time to do that.

#Writemotivation Update

I’m actually on track! Hard to believe, I know…

1. Finish WIP revisions. Finished this last week. Now currently Cutting All The Words (flabby, weak, soft words, as highlighted by John Skipp on the LitReactor course I did in August).
2. Send to CPs.Β Sent full MS to one CP, another friend has read the first three chapters, and I think a third CP to read the entire thing would be brilliant.
3. Get back to routine! Doing this πŸ™‚
4. WF x5. Done!

I hope you’re having a great September and accomplishing little by little whatever you want to do πŸ™‚

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Severn Estuary, Portishead. Enjoying my last few runs in this neighbourhood.
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10 thoughts on “No Day But Today

    1. Thanks, Leigh! Not the women’s fiction – this is adult fantasy that I started dribbling ideas down for about a year and a half ago. πŸ™‚ Let me know if you’re in the market for something ELSE to add to your TBR list πŸ˜‰

  1. You are smashing your goals!! Good on you!

    I always love your posts and your pictures!! <3

    I actually used something similar to get TheBoy up the ladder into the attic. He has to overcome the fear. And I kept encouraging him one step at a time. don't focus on what's ahead. πŸ™‚ So much simpler to say it to someone else than to actually utilize it myself πŸ˜›

    But hey, I do always say, one word is progress, right?! <3

    Jai

    1. Thank you! Sometimes goals on the screen aren’t enough. I had a CP waiting for my MS and after months of not reaching my goals, I kicked myself in the butt this time. But am not planning to slack… I want to get a lot more done this month! That is so cool about TheBoy and the attic ladder. Anything that seems overwhelming and scary, really, is just about one foot at a time. Even getting into cold water. Some people swear by the “just jump in” notion. Not me. I need to get used to it a little at a time πŸ˜‰

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