Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Would Walk 500 Miles

Do you remember this fun song from the early 90s by The Proclaimers?


I've always loved it, and it's my theme song for this week as I crossed over the 500 mile mark in my walking challenge for the year.



Clancy has been with me for most of these miles, and I figured out that if he and I had walked non-stop, we could have been in Toronto, Canada by now. I visited Toronto some years ago and loved it, so it would be fun to return. But since I hate snow and cold weather, now probably wouldn't be the best time for Clancy and me to arrive there. 

As I wrote when I finished the original 400 Mile Challenge, the ticker where I tracked my progress became a metaphor for my blog as the year went on, and my walking steps came to represent the steps I was also taking in my writing journey. The writing steps were baby steps, but they were steps all the same.

But with a new year on the horizon, I realize that I need to move beyond the baby steps. I'm thrilled by the progress I have made over the past year, but I also know that it's time to up my game.

I'm beyond grateful that I have a job so that I can pay my bills while I work towards my writing goals. But at the same time, I think this has allowed me to get lazy at times, and still treat my writing as more of a hobby. As I want my writing to be more than just a hobby, I think I need to start focusing on it as if my safety net didn't exist. 

For me, this means forcing myself to write even when I am tired and have had a long day, and would rather just collapse on the couch and watch tv. It also means I need to hold myself more accountable, and break my procrastination habit once and for all. 

I was making great progress on my WIP last month, and was very excited about that, but then I hit a roadblock and allowed myself to get distracted, and put the writing aside. I've also thought of ideas for query letters that I wanted to write, and procrastinated instead of actually writing them. 

This is the behavior I feel I need to change if I'm really going to meet my writing goals. It's taken me a heck of a long time, but I've finally figured out what I want to do with my life, and what makes me feel happy and fulfilled. So, it's time to start walking the walk, and stop playing around. 

When I think of people I know or admire who have achieved seemingly impossible goals, none of them did it by being content with merely dipping their toes in the water. They jumped in with both feet. I've had a great time dipping my toes in the writing waters over the past year, and I'm proud of what I have accomplished, but now it's time to take it to the next level, and dive in all the way. 

That's the new challenge I'm setting for myself, and I'm also going to start a new ticker to see if Clancy and I can make it to 600 miles in 2012.

But that's for next year. For now, I'm going to enjoy what I've already accomplished, and the amazing time I've had this year. And, I'm going to go back to singing along with The Proclaimers. :) 

Finally, just a reminder that tomorrow is the day for the Deja Vu Blogfest! If you want to sign up, just head on over to DL Hammon's site and join us. I know it's going to be a great fest, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the "day of the do over" posts.

25 comments:

  1. Congrats on 500 miles!
    I loved the video...haven't heard that song in a long time.

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  2. Wow! Congratulations Julie (and Clancy!) :)

    And good for you, too, for recognizing all that you already accomplished, in general and in writing. It's so easy to get caught up in what we didn't do (waves hand guiltily...) Thanks for the reminder to not just/only look ahead but to also look around and be happy and grateful. :)

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  3. Congrats on the 500 miles and I wish you luck on your new writing goal.

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  4. I heard that song the other day on the radio and couldn't help singing along. You realize the lyrics say, "I would walk five hundred miles and I would walk five hundred MORE." LOL.

    Congrats to you and Clancy. I'll bet you've already gone through a good pair of walking shoes. :)

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  5. Hi Julie and Clancy - let's not forget thee, Clancy of the four leg fame ... congratulations .. it is mind over matter isn't it ..

    Enjoy your achievements now .. and then 2012 you can move along a little more ..

    Cheers and lots of luck in 2012 .. Hilary

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  6. @Carol, thanks! I know, this video was like a blast from the past. :)

    @Bonnie Rae, thank you!

    @Madeline, thanks so much!

    @Summer, thank you, I really appreciate it!

    @LG, yeah, yeah, I was ignoring the 500 more bit ha ha. :D I do need new shoes, I think I will add those to my Christmas list.

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  7. @Hilary, ha ha, I'm laughing about Clancy of the four leg fame, too cute. Thanks so much, and cheers to you in 2012 as well! :)

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  8. Congratulations, Julie! If you keep taking those steps towards your dream, I'm sure you'll be there before you know it!

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  9. Congrats! That video is a great motivator!

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  10. That 500 miles is a big accomplishment. I need to do something like that.

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  11. I love Toronto--it seems like a very nice city and I've always enjoyed my visits there.

    500 miles is a great accomplishment! Good for you.

    See you at Deja Vu.


    Lee
    A Faraway View

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  12. Well done! I guess Clancy walked twice as far seeing he's got twice as many legs! :)

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  13. Congratulations on surpassing your goal of 500 miles! Lots of people claim to be chasing after a goal, but you totally CAUGHT it! And I have no doubt you'll conquer your writing goals, too. One step at a time, one word at a time.

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  14. Yea! On 500 miles. That's fantastic.

    Some days it is harder to get my mind focused than others. Then it seems every time I find momentum, something swoops in to stop it. Like the holidays.

    We all need some down time to refuel. Maybe schedule that in, too. It is time well spent.

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  15. @Kara, I sure hope so, thank you!

    @Amber, thanks! And I'm glad you liked the video.

    @Patricia, it's been great for me to stay motivated with exercising. Thanks!

    @Lee, I loved Toronto too, some day I'll make it back. Thanks and see you tomorrow. :)

    @Carolyn, thanks! LOL, that's a good point, Clancy can say he made it the additional 500 miles. :D

    @Susan, that's so nice of you to say, thanks for the encouragement!

    @Mary, thanks! I know what you mean about the holidays, it's hard to stay focused with all the distractions of this time of the year.

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  16. Congrats on the 500. I loved the song...always have. I was in Toronto in May this year, a lovely city.

    Have a good day.
    Yvonne.

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  17. way to overstep your goal!
    here's to you & clancy!

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  18. Oh my, Julie - 500 miles!! That's a great accomplishment. I think all of us get distracted from our writing at this time of year. Just another reason to look forward to the new year. :)

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  19. Congratulations on what you've achieved, and good luck on your goals! I know you can reach 600 next year.

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  20. 600 miles will be easy to reach. I have faith in you. I too let other things get in the way of writing. It's easy to get caught up in a movie, or talking on the phone or doing nothing at all. I did it a lot this year. I have to get my self going on my writing as well

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  21. Congrats on the 500 and may the next year bring nothing but hard grit determination in your writing.

    See you at Deja Vu. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  22. @Yvonne, it's such a catchy song, isn't it? I hope I can visit Toronto again sometime soon, I thought it was a great city. Thank you!

    @Tara, thanks!! And Clancy says thanks too. :D

    @Janel, thank you! That's a good point, I think I will be able to focus better once the holidays are over. I hope so anyway!

    @Shannon, thanks!!

    @Lynn Marie, thank you, I really appreciate it. That's exactly what I do, I can always find something else to get caught up in. Here's to changing that next year. :)

    @Jules, thanks, here's hoping! Looking forward to your Deja Vu post. :)

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  23. Congratulations - huge achievement (and I love that song! :-))

    I actually did have to remove my safety net in order to fully dive into my writing. Although it wasn't a full-on leap, since my husband has a job. But I did quit my own stable, well-paying job. Two years later, my kids are both in school and things seem to be gelling at last. It takes a while - so much learning, networking, and oh yeah, writing! :-)

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  24. @Julie, thank you! And thanks for sharing your experience, I'm glad things are working for you and starting to gel. I do think at some point I will have to take that leap of faith.

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Thank you for your comments!