by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy
My (im-)Perfect Focus
(Or, How I Learned to See a Better World With Blinders On)
NOLA NOTE: Before we get into today’s post, I want to thank so many of you for your encouragement and support. I received the second round of edits recently and immediately quit writing and reached out to one of my mentors to pull me in from the ledge. Okay, okay. I’m exaggerating. A little. Hey, I’m a fiction writer. What do you expect? Well, it’s not that bad. It’s like exercise and changing your food habits. Your outward appearance may reflect a slight change, but it’s the inside change that counts. That’s where we’re at with NOLA. I’m still aiming for a pub date within two months. But I’d rather do it right than do it fast. I’d love to have y’all join my private Facebook group for more information, memes, and all-around fun. You can join on Facebook by clicking here: NOLA Swarm.
Stick around and see what happens . . .
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My friend Edie is an amazing photographer. Seriously. Y’all should follow Edie Melson on Instagram. She photographs images the rest of us walk past. Her eye is always seeking that which is beautiful. When she draws her camera up, I know to stand still and not get in her focus. She ignores the greater surroundings in order to capture one perfect view. Her posts are nothing less than extraordinary, but if you ask her, she’ll tell you she was captivated by the moment. She’ll say it’s not her, but the object, that makes it beautiful.
Life’s a little like that, isn’t it? We scurry around, waiting for someone to notice us. Trying to be a part of everything. But have you noticed, the most stunning photography captures a still moment? One click. One frame. One instant. A pause and a focus. Sure, in this day of digital, we get a lot of before’s and after’s. But still . . . that one shot.
It’s no secret I’m like a dog chasing a squirrel chasing a nut that rolled from the tree that grew in a forest . . .
O.M.G. Could it just stop, already?!
I love multitasking. It just doesn’t always love me back.
I recently attended ~ wait for it ~ another writers conference. Big surprise, amiright? Thing is, there’s always something to learn whether you’re a novice or accomplished, author/agent/editor/publisher, traditional or indie. [INDIE WRITER (n) ~ Translate for Mom: (a) Someone who has or intends to self-publish, (b) Someone who’s free-flowing spirit refuses to conform to traditional publishing guidelines, (c) Someone who embraces all aspects of writing and publishing in a confident, whirlwind fashion as is known to her friends as the Bohemian Hurricane . . . Hey, wait. That’s me!]
We were implored to ask God to give us individual word of how to move forward with our writing/editing/publishing/agenting careers. The first day, I had an inkling (see what I did there?), but it either wasn’t very clear or I wasn’t paying enough attention. Ooh. Coffee. What? I’m here. Continue on. I’ll pretend I heard everything.
Then God flung Himself at me with one word.
Wait. Again with the what? Isn’t that counter-intuitive to what we’re taught as Christians? Aren’t we supposed to be self-less? Self-sacrificing? Self-denying?
I heard His explanation.
An empty cup cannot overflow.
You mean, it’s okay for me to focus on, well, just me?
Yes. It’s okay to say no, to stop multi-tasking, to self-publish, and to invest in myself. Creativity is a muscle to be strengthened, not atrophied. Any gift we give of ourselves is the same. We can’t pour so much of ourselves into others that we have nothing left. That is not the selfless love God has in mind.
Whatever gifts of love you have to offer the world, make sure you take time to enjoy them yourself. Focus. Refresh. Then you can overflow and share with others.
What gifts do you share with an overflowing cup? Leave a comment!
With some fresh grounds and bottomless cup,
Frankly, My Dear . . . Savor the Journey!
Molly Jo is a Southern Belle known to her friends as the Bohemian Hurricane. She is the author/curator of The Unemployment Cookbook and several eBooks available on Amazon. Her work-in-progress, NOLA, is a full-length location mystery novel set in New Orleans, and the first in her City Series.