Tag Archives: Hard Work

Yoga Cat & Other Obstacles

Despite my best intentions, life has felt challenging lately. Even home yoga. I would like to introduce you to yoga cat. She is nothing like yoga dog, who stops by, stretches, wags his tail, and then moves on. Yoga cat likes to be in the way, the entire time. Every day since I decided to take my home yoga practice more seriously, she has been on my mat from start to finish. I have done locust poses at odd angles, tree balanced precariously over an outstretched cat, warrior with my hand a dangling invitation for her to take a good swat, and seated meditation with a purring ball of fur pressed against my legs.

Like many obstacles, she is part joyous distraction, part menace.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why not just move her? But, that’s the thing. First, she’s not an easy creature to move. My husband and I joke that she’s half ferrel. She does what she pleases unless you’re willing to risk an altercation. Second, I have tried to view her as an added challenge to clearing my mind and focusing inward. If I work hard enough, I can tune her out, even if every once in awhile I receive an unexpected slap of her paw or have to move some of my poses to the carpet.

Luna is perfectly in the way.

I actually think yoga cat is a good metaphor for life. Anything worth doing is going to have obstacles. You can either put in the work anyway or switch your attention elsewhere. I am pretty sure if I pulled out a different mat she would just follow me to a new location. I have to remind myself this as I push through obstacles in other parts of my life. Even if I switched directions, there would be something else. Thankfully, meditation, yoga, blogging, reading all help. And, doing yoga over a cat might just be part of the fun.

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Getting There on My Own Time

I’m not the fastest thinker in the world. I need time to cook my thoughts, even if sometimes it takes weeks, or months, or years to find my answers.┬áThere is no hurrying the process.

Writing my pitch for my query letter has been like this. I chip away, a little at a time, gradually creating a more coherent, enticing product. Now and then, I impatiently check the oven to see if it is done. Still not there, but a little closer, maybe edible even. Small victories and trust that if I continue to follow the steps in the recipe, it will be ready soon enough.

For you seasoned query writers, a question: Do you write the synopsis before sending out your queries or wait to receive a request for one? Yes, that’s the impatient part of me asking. I fully expect the answer I don’t want to hear, but that’s okay, maybe I need it for motivation.

This week’s extracurricular activity: Query writing, oh the fun!

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Luck & Hard Work

Luck and hard work can be very easy to confuse.  I work hard, but I do not always feel lucky with the results.  Teaching, in particular, often leaves me questioning the correlation between the two.  Maybe it is true of anything that is a craft– that the hard work takes longer to pay off.  
It is just so easy to think that successful people are lucky and forget the role that hard work plays in their success.  I know that I often catch myself thinking that published writers are lucky.  However, I also know that they put in a ton of work and refuse to give up, which ultimately matters more than luck.  After all, you will never publish anything if you do not write it or pitch it in the first place.  Maybe, then, the secret is not luck, but that successful people are the ones that do not give up.
I’m trying to remind myself of this, to keep myself motivated.  The ironic part is that I remind my students of this all of the time.  “This is hard!” they’ll say.  “Yes, life is hard, and you have a choice.  Either you can work hard at it and be successful, or you can give up and never succeed.”  I’m pretty sure that I said this at least five times this week.  Funny how sometimes we do not hear our own words.

I thought that you might also like the reminder to make your own luck.  If, like me, you’re pursuing a creative endeavor that would benefit from online networking, check out this great post about making your own luck.

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