Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Lesson About Balking

If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is that every time I balk at someone’s new adventure, I generally end up following not far behind. Take a popular eating plan as an example. Somewhere around fifteen years ago, numerous people started following this plan, a vegetarian no dairy eat all you want and still lose weight diet. Being overweight and trying to shed pounds, I knew that it was impossible to eat all I wanted and still loose weight. No, experience told me I needed to exercise, eat three healthy meals a day within a certain calorie range, and forget the Ben and Jerry’s. I knew without a doubt that these people were not living in reality.

Over a span of several months, I watched my friends become healthier- they shed the pounds, their skin began to glow and they swore it was indeed that they were eating what they wanted and still losing weight. I was eating all I wanted, when I wanted and gaining weight, had stomach problems and headaches galore. The more I watched my friends flourish with health, and the less healthy I began to feel, the more I decided it was time to see what they were talking about.

So, I tried the same eating plan. I ate as much as I wanted within the confines of the diet. I didn’t lose weight, but I stopped gaining weight too. Other amazing things began to happen as well- my stomach problems cleared up and, by not eating dairy products and sugar anymore, I realized that they were both sources of my headaches and stomach discomfort.

While I did not reap the benefits that my friends did, I certainly reaped my own rewards. My headaches went away, my stomach began to feel better, and I learned how to eat properly. Eight years later, I did lose all my excess weight and have been able to keep it off for the last seven years. I learned a lot from that experience.

Now, it’s about an interactive site on the internet. I heard how several friends signed up for this service, but I balked and formed my own opinion that was not favorable. However, this time, it took me less time to realize that I balked because I was afraid to try it. Well, a few weeks ago, my Writer’s Club announced they were now a member of this website. I went and signed up because I wanted to see what they were doing. As it turns out, this wonderful interactive website has become a networking opportunity with other writers that I never thought possible. Now, even a few personal friends are on there, and I have even contacted two friends who I have not seen in years.

My lesson is this: when I start balking about something someone else is doing (sometimes the balking is internal, other times I have to voice my opinion), it’s time for me to step back and look at my own fears.

As for the writing- I’m writing this moment. I was stumped on my novel for quite some time and had to go on to writing other things. I finally figured out the problem was telling the story rather than showing. Now, that I have started showing, the story line seems to be flowing well.

Happy writing all!

To Go Oxford....or Not

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