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Last week Cassie had some more biopsies done. We think the problems that have popped up are related to her disease but just in case, we need to make sure. We had hoped to cut back her medication to every other day but suddenly the bumps came back. And then there's the issue of her coat that never came in. At two years of age she still looks trapped in puppyhood with a stripe of adult fur down her back and her sides covered in not quite puppy fur but not the long guard hair that you would expect on a dog this age. So it was back to the vet who shaved her in about five spots and sent her home to wait out the results. She has stitches in various spots on her body, all easily accessible for licking and scratching and chewing.

I kept expecting her to chew at the stitches and dreaded the idea of having to put one of those collars on her but the only one who seemed to be worried about them was me. Cassie ignored the stitches as though they didn't even exist. She's been just fine all week, doing what she does best, without a wasting a single moment of fun time by worrying at those stitches.

How many times in our writing lives do we make mountains out of the proverbial molehill?

I don't know about you but for me, I do it way to often. I think too much. I think too much before I write and after I write and while I write. I worry those words back and forth until I'm no longer sure what is fresh and original and what is just old and tired from me worrying on it so much.

One of the hard things that happens for some people (or at least for me) is that after we sell a piece of writing our minds are focused on the selling and not on being a writer, living the writer's life, and well, just writing. Wouldn't it be nice to not think so much?

Old habits are hard to break so I can't say that I am going to let go of all that worrying all at once. But I am going to call myself on it more often.

Less time worrying will give me more time to write, and more time to play with Cassie.
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 13 comments — Leave comment )
December 9th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
Hold that thought of the last line. although who am I to give advice about worrying as I would have to be the world's worst worrier. Actually something I can't afford to do as it plays up with too many other health issues but aside from that it really does not get ME anywhere either. I am not a published author like you and I really don't know what it is I think I am doing but the only time I don't worry is when I am writing so even if nothing never ever comes of it I have achieved one thing even if for short periods of time. Unlike you though once I start writing I just write and write and write probably pages of nothing but I seem to get lost in the moment and for me that is good because then I don't have to think about the reality of my real life. Probably not the best reason or way to write but that is just me and the way I have always been so I either have to accept things the way they are or accept things the way they are, Yes I know I wrote the same thing twice see I don't see I have any other choice. Although might I say sometimes acceptance is a hard thing to achieve unless I am lost in my writing or my attempt at it anyway.
I hope everything is alright with Cassie as I know how much joy you have brought each other and I really enjoy reading these posts you do them so well.

- Anne McKenna
December 10th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Anne, there are no wrong ways to do the kind of writing you are doing. You are doing good work. Really deep and important work. Give yourself a pat on the back from me.
December 9th, 2009 12:10 pm (UTC)
Great post. Worrying is one of my favorite pastimes too. Please give a big hug to Cassie for me.
December 10th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
Thanks, Nan. Always love an excuse to hug my girl. Here's to less worry in our lives.
December 9th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
I am the Queen of worrying and over thinking. Glad Cassie is there to remind you to play and relax!
December 10th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
That over thinking gets in the way of so many things. I bought Cassie a new toy today (what a surprise) and we had a nice playday.
(Deleted comment)
December 10th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
Thanks for the video. It was just what I needed. I'm really tired of being counter-productive so here's to changing my habit.
December 9th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
Susan, I feel exactly the same way. I worry so much about "is it any good" and "will anyone else like it" that I haven't been able to stick to a project until completion. I always get half way through and think, "This is crap." and "You're not a real poet, so who would want to read anything YOU write?"
It's so nice to know I'm not alone in worrying. BTW, I worry about pretty much EVERYTHING, not just writing. I wish there was a cure for that.
December 10th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I am the queen of non-completion for the same reasons. And I hate not feeling comfy in that poet hat. I want to wear that hat but I don't FEEL like a real poet so it is easy for me to cave to those worries. :)
December 9th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
So glad Cassie hasn't missed a beat. And the rest of what you say hits home, too. I sometimes feel like my life's work is learning to keep worry at bay.
December 10th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Thanks, Amy. Cassie is good for me in so many ways. I hear you on the life work. Sigh.
December 10th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
I used to be the worlds biggest worrier. Working the 12 steps helped me to let go of that habit, which had worn a path in my brain down which I went all the time. The Serenity Prayer and some slogans like "Let go and let God," and "One day at a time," really helped. I actually used to print out the Serenity Prayer each day with blanks after each phrase, so I could write in what I was worrying about (Bob, Jack, other people places and things, etc., which were almost all things I could not change and needed to accept) after "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change." Then after the next sentence, "Courage to change the things I can," I wrote in me, my own actions and reactions, how I perceive things, etc. A gratitude list helped me with how I perceived things.
I did this for years every morning and it helped a lot. I still worry but not for hours and not about things I can't change. Now it's more likely to be what should I do next?
Your dog sounds very cool. I have a 10 month yellow lab who is very smart and fun. Maggie.
December 10th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing Maggie. What a great idea to print out the serenity prayer with blanks! I used to have it on my wall but I never thought about personalizing it.

The gratitude journal is another great idea. At one time in my life, when things were really bad off, I kept a gratitude journal. Some days the only thing I could write was "my cat love me, my dog loves me." But eventually it helped shake me free.

Labs are so much fun!
( 13 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
--Bonnie Friedman

"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice


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