Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Thursday, August 16, 2012

And Then What?

This is #399 for me. Which surprises me because I've been at it for a few years and it does seem like I've written way more posts than that. More like 3,999.

I just know I'll post again quickly to see that nice round 400 number. 400 posts. And then what? Which is the big question really, about all kinds of things that one might look forward to with great anticipation.

And then what?

There are the people who look ahead with excitement for the next big adventure, like Toad in The Wind in the Willows: "Toad talked big about all he was going to do in the days to come, while stars grew fuller and larger all around them, and a yellow moon, appearing suddenly and silently from nowhere in particular, came to keep them company and listen to their talk." (A very talented writer's way of saying Toad talked at length)



And there are those who are perfectly content with their routine, like Rat: "And I AM going to stick to my old river, AND live in a hole AND boat, as I've always done." (Talented Writer's way of telling us Rat adores his routine while also saying what that routine is, in just one sentence.)



Which kind of person are you? Mr Toad or Mr Rat? Do you say And then what? Or are you at peace (maybe in love with) with your established routine?

Perhaps you are a nice blend, like Mole, who enjoys a routine sprinkled with the occasional adventure, or even just an outing for the day.


"This day was only the first of many similar ones for the emancipated Mole, each of them longer and full of interest as the ripening summer moved onward. He learnt to swim and to row, and entered into the joy of running water; and with his ear to the reed-stems he caught, at intervals, something of what the wind went whispering so constantly among them." (from The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame)


37 comments:

  1. I think I'm more like Toad. As soon as I have one thing done I want to move on to the next.

    When I was still in school and talking to my dad about how I wanted to be a writer, and getting frustrated that I wasn't very good yet, he gave me some advice which has stuck with me. He used musicians as a reference, since he knows music best, and said that the best musicians are always working towards writing that one perfect song. The best song in the world. The one no-one will ever beat.

    And he told me they do that, even though they never get to it. Each song is better than the last, but it won't be quite the best ever, so they just keep going.

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    1. Paul, Although not a musician myself, I have musicians in my family and so I constantly think about writing and music analogies. Like how no musician would think of functioning without a teacher (an editor). The hours of practice, when a lot of it doesn't even sound good. Doing it out of joy and passion if for no other reason.

      I like your dad's words. Talk about a quotable quote.


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    2. Thanks. I've got a lot of musicians and other artistic types in my family too.

      Must try and work that advice into a book some time. :-)

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  2. Sweet post. I suppose I cycle between Toad and Rat--I thrive on a routine and it takes me days to recover from a disruption, but after a while, the routine makes me restless for change and adventure.

    ...399 posts! Wow, I've been blogging since 2009 and only have 121--slow but steady; I guess that makes me more of a Turtle!

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  3. I am like the mole. I enjoy the joy of running water and, at the same time, I listen to the whisper of the wind.

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  4. I'm like mole, but I can jump to toad too from time to time depending on my mood, really loved this post too cute. :)

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  5. Oooh, on the verge of the big Four-O-O? Cool!

    I'm probably a mole. :)

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  6. Oh, I get bored so easily I'm always looking for what's around the bend.
    Karen

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  7. I'm like Mole. I love my routine (and sometimes balk when it gets derailed), but at the end of the day an occasional adventure renews me.

    But adventure after adventure in real life is SO draining! ;)

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  8. I'm like mole. I like my routine but I enjoy adding something new every now and then. Unfortunately, talking of adventures are nice, but adventures require more than talk, they require a walk.

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  9. Very cool. Nearly at 400. Very very cool. Well done you.

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  10. I like Mole, I'm like Mole - that's my story n I'm sticking to it. I truly liked this - neat n very well done Karen. Now, is your count 400 or closer to 4,000? Cheers n have a great day, Eh!

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    1. SaucyKod, It is actually 400, but is it just me or does posting several times a week for 3+ years seem more like 4000 than 400?

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  11. I guess I'm more like the Rat, because I'm all about my regular routine. I take comfort in it, because it's something that I can rely on. Even when I go to my favorite restaurants I always order the same foods. And congratulations for writing almost 400 posts! That's a lot!

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  12. Congratulations on all those posts! I'm definitely in the middle somewhere...a little routine, a little change...

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  13. I'm more of a person who goes And then what?

    Congrats on almost 400 posts. :)

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  14. I like to change things up a bit but then I like to be able to go back to routine when things get out of hand. Thanks for this.

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  15. What a lovely lines from The wind in the willows. I am a blend I think. Actually my passion is my work at the moment
    Blogging is a bit of fun but comes second. It used to be a passion and one day it might be again.

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  16. I think I am like mole, or I would like to think I am anyway! A lovely post, and congratulations!
    Lindsay
    http://thelittlereaderlibrary.blogspot.co.uk/

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  17. Congratulations on the postings. I keep meaning to look at mine and do some sort of celebratory post about it. I'm guessing I've passed the 500 mark but I'm not for sure about it.

    I love Grahame's writing style. Someday I'll have to read that book. Sometimes I'm like Toad, but probably am mostly like Mole.


    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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  18. I never, ever thought I'd say I'm a mole...but I'm much like Mole :)

    Happy Weekend!

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  19. 400 posts is something to celebrate. I had to go look up and see how many I had posted. Since March 2011 I have posted 334. It surprised me that I had posted so many. Ha ha ha, no wonder my book is taking so long to finish :)I am a toad, no a rat, no a mole....LOL!!!! I have no idea where you would place my attitude, depends on the day in question. Have a great week-end!

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  20. Congratulations on 399! I haven't checked to see how many blogs I've posted. Now I will.

    Monti
    Mary Montague Sikes

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  21. Wow, 399! Makes me want to check where I'm at!

    I'm like Mr. Mole: I thrive on my routine, but I NEED a wrench thrown into that, some fun, something unexpected, in order to keep to that routine.

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  22. I think I'm naturally a rat, but I've forced myself to become a mole for my own good :)

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  23. I'm somewhere between Rat and Mole, I guess. :D It's funny to think about the number of posts we've done. All these words and thoughts. Maybe we're actually Toads... ;p <3

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    1. Probably Toad with writing, anyway!

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  24. That's a tough one!! I'm probably a Toad. I wish I wasn't. I wish I could be content. :) 400 is impressive!! I have no idea how many posts I've done, now I want to go check!

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    1. Nicole, It's probably more posts than you think! I've never been a Toad in my life, but I admire Toads and find their company exhilarating. I'm a cross between Rat and Mole.

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  25. Hi, Karen,

    Wow.. the big 400 ... impressive. I found you post so adorable and charming today. What a great way to express who we truly are.

    As for me I am mostly toad with a dash of mole. I love adventure and CHANGE. I used to move every few years because I got so bored with my surroundings. The present place I am in now has changed at least four times in the eight years I've been in this condo. I so wished to move, but the real estate market has been plunging for four years now, so unfortunately I can't...

    However I change things up a bit every few years. Even in writing I write different genres just for the fun of it. As you know... lol but I do love that teen lit brand... Thanks again.

    Michael

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  26. My routine is about as solid as quicksand. Do I love it? Not really. But it's be best I've got for now, so it will do just fine. I'm not really keen on changing it. Though I would like to be a bit more active.

    Though somehow, I don't feel like either Toad or Rat. Which is logical, since I'm a Bear.

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  27. Congrats on the success of your blog, Karen! I want to be a Rat or a Mole, want to be content, but I tend to have a few warts so I have to call myself a Toad. I chalk it up to lack of discipline. I constantly strive to maintain a regular routine and be one of those ridiculously structured people, but find it really hard to stick to a schedule, which makes me crazy. Instead, I just plug along, wishing things were different but not really knowing how to make it happen. I always get everything done, but it's usually at the expense of too much stress--which I put on myself.

    P.S. Thanks again for the follow. Followed you back. :-)

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  28. Mostly rat, some toad, really a flying bat if you ask my kids but the GK's think I'm sweet so to them I am a Butterfly

    I am posting more often. Afraid I won't get all my opinions down in writing before I die I guess. And when I am blogging I can avoid cleaning a little longer.

    Love your blog. Never stop

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  29. Hi Karen - congratulations you're doing so well - you're helping us all .. especially as you're so open and giving us tips and tricks ..

    399 posts .. well done .. I think I'll probably be Toad, but I'd like to be Mole for a while and rest on my laurels in between .. love your analogies here .. and acted as Rat at school and forgot all my lines .. so perhaps just being a Mole-me is the right answer!!

    Cheers Hilary

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