Are you focused on the future or fixated on the past?

Storms don’t last forever, and neither do vacations. If you’ve read my earlier posts this week (here and here) you’ll know I’ve been away all week, but today it was time to return home.

As we sailed away from Vancouver Island the sky was reminiscent of the two storms we had experienced. Hurricane-force winds on Monday eventually died down to gale-force ones on Wednesday. In between, there was driving rain, sleet and snow, and even a few tantalizingly brief peeks of blue sky. On the whole, it wasn’t pretty! Thankfully, our daughter‘s home suffered nothing more damaging than fifteen hours without electricity.

Today we happened to choose seats in the ferry’s stern lounge, so had a view of the glowering clouds as we left the Island behind. By the time we reached the mainland the sky was clearing with the promise of a better weekend. Those storms that had so recently consumed our attention became a distant memory.

Now that we’ve reached mid-March and I reflect on my writing progress over the past two weeks, I know how easy it would be to let myself get fixated on what I didn’t get done. While I managed to revise twenty-four chapters, after the first couple days I made absolutely no progress on my current w.i.p. No new words at all in two weeks. None.

Right now is when I need a good lecture! I need to tell myself to walk away from the stern — stop looking back at where I’ve been. Instead, I should get myself up to the bow and focus on my destination.

Today is the mid-point of March. I still have two full weeks in which to create those new words. Are you with me? Let’s get at ’em!

Have the past two weeks been productive ones for you? What’s your goal for the next two? Where do you want to be on March 31st?


“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”

[Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV]

~  ~  ~

9 thoughts on “Are you focused on the future or fixated on the past?

  1. Katt says:

    I like the first sentence……storms don’t last forever, and neither do vacations! Wow! There is so much truth in those few words!
    I’m getting ready for a speaking engagement in a few weeks, and a few weeks after that I have been invited to be the keynote speaker at a three day retreat. My desk is full of “stuff” trying to put everything together. I am reminded to focus on the Lord’s clock, not mine.
    Great blog…..I look forward to reading your posts everyday. I don’t always take the time to post, but know I’m reading them!
    Love ya

    • careann says:

      Katt – Public speaking isn’t one of my favourite things, although when you’re talking about something close to your heart, I guess it’s easier, but still a lot of work getting prepared. I always appreciate the time you take to visit here and leave your words of encouragement.

  2. Shari Green says:

    It’s easy for me to look at the past two weeks and think I have nothing to show for it — all my writing work has been either in my head or in the form of brainstorming and note-taking. BUT, that is a significant thing! And as I head into the last half of this month, I hope to stay focused on my destination and turn all that mulling time into productive revisions.

    We can do a lot in two weeks. Here’s to taking great leaps toward our goals!

    ETA: My laptop just shut itself off before I hit “post comment”. My only thought was, “oh please, laptop, I seriously need you these next two weeks — don’t fail me now!!!” It re-started just fine, and I came back here to re-compose my comment and was very surprised to find it still here, waiting for me to hit “post”. Weird. (Yes, I DID just control-C the entire comment.;))

    • careann says:

      Shari – Sometimes we have to get one aspect of a project off the table before we can focus on another.

      The laptop shutting down would have been a scary moment! It’s not that we don’t have desktop computers, but I know I’ve become a laptop addict… it’s like an extension of my hands and I don’t *want* to function without it. May yours (and mine) ‘live long and prosper’. LOL.

  3. Good question, Carol. By March 31st the first three chapters, query and synop. of my finished upmarket women’s fictionwill fly into the mail, one in cyber mail, the other in snail mail. I will also finish the last of a romantic suspense. Plans? Lots of them. Don’t look back for too long or you will trip and fall … don’t look too far ahead because you’ll miss a great day … grab today and make each of them count … 1,2,3 and then before you know it … you’re there!! wherever that is 🙂

  4. While you were weathering the storms of Vancouver Island I was in Alberta clearing out my mother’s apartment and making her room in the seniors complex comfortable. The weather was amazing, 14 – 18C but dusty winds. Talk about dweling in the past as I went through old pictures, cards, clothing and knick-knacks. Lots of great memories and a few tears. Consequently I am behind in writing too. My goal – to finish 2 more chapters before March 31, Let’s cheer each other on!

    • careann says:

      Helping a parent with major downsizing can be so difficult. But I’m sure she felt blessed to have you there.

      I’m good at cheering. Hear me chant: “Go, Darlene, go!!!” 😉 Most days I’m a slow writer… I do more thinking than writing. But I capitalized on a couple spurts this afternoon and hope to be able to keep up the pace tomorrow. I’ll expect to hear good things about your progress.

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