Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Inch by Inch


The scariest moment is always just before you start.
After that, things can only get better. ~ Stephen King, On Writing


Red narrating in The Shawshank Redemption:

“In 1966 Andy Dufresne escaped from the Shawshank prison. All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer…

“I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it.  Old Andy did it in less than twenty…Turns out Andy’s favorite hobby was totin’ his wall out into the exercise yard, a handful at a time.”

How much this story taught me! I learned what persistence and hope can do for a soul… not just for an innocent prisoner with a will and the genius to set himself free, but for anyone facing a seemingly insurmountable task…

Maureen Boyd Biro, editor and author says, “It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by a big project, but if I only have to concentrate on one inch, well, that I can handle. Eventually those inches will be feet and yards and whatever it takes to make a book.”

One year after seeing The Shawshank redemption, I read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.  It was among the best advice I’ve read on writing – or tackling any job that feels overwhelming. “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

That’s how you finish an epic manuscript: one sentence, one paragraph, one chapter at a time.  Taken step by step, the thousand mile journey is doable. Just ask marathon man Stephen King.



What walls are you facing that could be removed a handful at a time?
A novel?  A memoir? A research project? A house than needs decluttering?
Or, what have you already accomplished inch by inch?  Please share below.

80 comments:

  1. All of the things mentioned in the initial question except the answer to the overarching question.

    I have a novel that is as alive as anything but lives in my imagination.

    I am considering a memoir because you won't believe the details of my real-life.

    I'm still working on my research and the house is begging to be decluttered.

    I have about 100 word document pages of my novel the story is all there but the details remain unfinished.

    I don't have the nerve to start the memoir.

    I defended my thesis in June but it has a few revisions. More research to support another paper that I want to submit for publication.

    The house is on the back burner forever begging for my attention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debra, I’ve heard that many writers are hindered from completing a manuscript, not for lack of material, but for an overabundance of material. That’s certainly true in my case, with so many different works in progress. The best advice I’ve heard for this situation is to choose one to focus on until it’s finished. Could you leave me your blog link so I’ll know where to find you. Thanks!

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this wonderful piece of inspiration:) I feel it applies not just to writing but to many aspects of life, in terms of developing good habits, relationships, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monisima, yes indeed; it’s good advice for any mountain that needs to be moved. I know of a lady who lost 150 pounds, inch by inch. She started out by getting off the couch and walking 5 minutes a day.

      Delete
  3. I've been dreaming of the day I get my book published but do I have the book done? In my mind, yes. In manuscript form? over a thousand or so words. Sometime I wonder if I will ever realize my dream at the rate I'm going. But then of course I know, the book will be written if I actually sit down and write it word for word, sentence, paragraph, page... Is it really possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne, below is a link, some advice that may inspire you to just sit and “git-r-dun; -) “

      http://debrasblogpureandsimple.blogspot.com/2012/05/sitzfleisch-and-flash.html

      About realizing your dream of publishing that book… it’s the journey that counts. Enjoy it!

      Delete
  4. I have seen Shawshank Redemption a few years ago with my siblings. It does have its most astonishing elements in it. His hope was unfailing and I believe that God's grace is also at work in him.

    Perhaps, these walls could be the habit of postponing some plans or harboring negative feelings that keep me from going back to some familiar places...

    I could also refer to my moods, clinging too much to my family, attachment to some people...

    Inch by inch... getting there :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa, it’s a picture of hope, that movie. And I love the quote from it:
      “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
      Dear friend, tear down that wall! It sounds like you might be seeking to make peace with the past, somehow. Correct me if I’m wrong. It’s work to go back in time, but memories teach us life lessons we’d never learn otherwise, not to mention inner healing.
      I left you a long comment on your most recent post and a song. Check it out.

      Delete
    2. Hi Debra. I came back...and I'd like to link it with the dream I had ~ http://grazieadio.blogspot.com/2012/09/first-part.html ...

      I'll remember this post for the rest of my life. Thank you so much :*

      Delete
    3. Melissa, thank you for taking the time to share this. Don't you love those healing dreams? It's one of those dreams you'll always remember.

      Delete
  5. I absolutely loved Shawshank Redemption, Debra. I'm so grateful to you for posting this. Today I started a very bold step of writing 40 stories that I want to publish soon. Bird by bird, word by word, we'll get there you and me and all of us who have these dreams in our hearts. ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Corinne, I’m excited for you. A collection of 40 stories. I’m hoping to finish a spiritual memoir by September, then I have other stories I want to publish. Tell you what: I’ll pray for your dream every day, and I hope you’ll do the same. Every time I feel discouraged I watch The Shawshank Redemption. It reminds me that where there is a will there is a way.

      Delete
  6. I'd say, inch by inch, step by step, I need to clean my house! Along with that, even more important goals would be to slowly get out of some of the financial quandary my husband and I have been in for awhile. We seem to have hit a plateau and it's hard to break through the inertia and strive towards more results. That, and I'd love to finish college someday..a venture that abruptly came to a halt my junior year when we conceived our daughter.

    Sometimes goals can seem almost unachievable..but you are so right..we just need to plod along, methodically and with conviction, just a step at a time and we'll eventually get there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessica, cleaning house, arrgghh! My least favorite thing in the world to do :-(
      Debt… how to move a mountain of debt? Bankruptcy is the only way for many these days. I hope yours isn’t a mountain (as in the case of my dearest friend, who did declare bankruptcy, and afterward felt light as a feather). Do whatever it takes to keep from being an indentured servant. And if college will put you further in dept, don’t do it.
      Do you have a blog? Your profile won’t allow me to go there. Could you update your profile with a blog link so I can find you? Are you on FB? Here’s my link. Send me a friend request.
      http://www.facebook.com/debra.elramey

      Delete
  7. Novel done, but having the patience with publishers I pray will choose it? Bird by bird . . . And, the sequel? Difficult to sit down and do when the first isn't published. That's my next step, though, to write this in hope and faith.
    Great post, Debra!
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martha, yah!!! Novel done – hallelujah! Why don’t you take it bird by bird with the publishers and start on the sequel concomitantly? You can’t wait until the book is published to start on the sequel. You know the saying, “Build it and they’ll come.” But sometimes I wonder myself how true that is. Still, we hope and pray. As I told Corinne, I’ll pray for your dream if you’ll pray for mine – deal?

      Delete
  8. I just finished attending the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project Summer Institute a national program for teachers to develop their own writing and then transfer that knowledge into the classroom. Guess what I read as part of the class? Stephen King's On Writing and Anne LaMott's Bird by Bird. No Kidding! When I opened this post I had to smile. I thought that LaMott's book was so real, full of her own insecurities, failures and successes. As she pointed out in the book, she has had plenty of rejections of her writing and yet she has persisted through not only that but many personal addictions and tragedies. It is an inspirational book because some of my struggles pale in comparison. I will say this, when I look at what I have yet to accomplish, I am overwhelmed. When I look back at what I have accomplished in the past few years since I started writing and setting goals intentionally, I am amazed. It's all in your perspective. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynne, the Kennesaw Mountain Writing project sounds inspiring. And how amazing that these particular books I mentioned here were featured in the class! Anne Lamott is some character, isn’t she? A rare bird ;-) What makes the book worth reading again and again is the reality of struggle in her own life, and how she depicted it with such humor. It seems that all the best writers have suffered rejection, at least early on in their careers. I love reading how they kept on, regardless. You too are an inspiration, Lynne, and I wish for you all the best!

      Delete
  9. Such a beautiful post Debra! I saw Shawshank Redemption {the movie} many years back and it moved me to tears. It touched my soul.
    About the topic of your post, building something inch by inch- I want to say that I build my life inch by inch { the "building" part is still going on by the way !}. As I am a homemaker and I am not into any profession as such, therefore, cooking food at home, cleaning the home, writing a blog, writing poems , writing in general, doing photography and painting -all these diverse interests could not have got a place in my life if I did not approach each of these tasks inch by inch. I cook everyday, twice a day. After that, I see to it that my creative pursuits are not neglected. Sometimes, I cook simple meals to finish a painting. The day when I do not blog is dedicated to cooking a little more elaborate meals.
    Although I do not blog everyday, I write everyday in my laptop. I write anything if nothing substantial comes to my mind. Because if I did not write everyday, my habit would be lost { also because English is not my first language}. Once a habit is lost forever due to negligence,it is very difficult { although not impossible } to start all over again.
    Although I have no intention to publish a book and I am happy writing for my pleasure, yet for that too, I have to be disciplined.
    Debra, thank you for sharing your wisdom through this post,
    Have a nice day,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl, you are all things.

      "Denying, rejecting, judging or hiding from any aspect of your total being creates pain and results from a lack of wholeness." ~ Joy Page

      How this quote above describes you – you are all things! You are an artist in all you do. I love your creative, beautiful spirit! You epitomize the artist’s way. Your entire life is a work of art!

      Delete
  10. Thank you Debra, this is the exact message I needed to hear today-and that is my favorite movie. "Bird by Bird" is one I read over and over, finding new nuggets of inspiration each time-it is timeless. Now I'm off to finish my own post on life's challenges and joys. Be well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Britton, my favorite movie too, Shawshank Redemption. How is it that I can never see it enough times to tire of it? Here’s why. It’s a classic. A masterpiece. Stephen King for president! Ann Lamott for vice-president!

      Delete
    2. Excellent choices. And they will write their own speeches!

      Delete
  11. What a superb, relevant post--
    I love the parallel you used w/ Shawshank & Writing.

    Exceeeellent.

    ""Bird by bird"" Yes, I find myself uttering this A Lot.

    Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh girl, "bird by bird" is a classic for writers, and don't we find ourselves uttering the phrase to ourselves like a mantra?

      And thank you for the book list!
      Some of these titles I own, and others I will soon ;-)

      Delete
  12. I found this interesting. It would be simple to say that I am writing my own manuscripts with hopes of being published, and that is true. What came to mind, however, is that I am releasing some layers of armor that no longer serve me. And the realization came from a very harsh, unexpected lesson - the death of a loved one polarized everything in my life and from that one breath to the next, I was forever changed. I recognized that something that had been valid, important and very passionately necessary to me one day simply became unimportant in one powerful blow. I am now surveying the wreckage of some vestiges of ego and processing and learning who I am now, afterwards. And I do believe I have the genesis of my next blog post.

    I never cease to marvel at how I greet myself anew when I visit here, Debra.

    Namaste',

    Dawn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dawn, I know the shock of your dear cousin’s sudden death has caused anguish like nothing you could have ever imagined, and the magnitude of your loss will become even more apparent as the days and months pass. In the dark winter of grief, the promise that time will heal rings hollow. We are unable to contemplate a day when the great cloud of sorrow will be lifted.

      But healing will come, or more accurately, we will come to healing. Dawn’s Healing Morning. When your grief is fully spent you will emerge, strengthened and renewed by this sad experience. I like the promise of Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” And these words by William Shakespeare may propel you to give voice to your grief, as you’ve already done in you most recent blog post.

      “Give sorrow words;
      the grief that does not speak
      whispers the o’er-fraught heart
      and bids it break.”

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. I love you, Debra. Thank you for the beauty of your response here and over at Healing Morning. The quote by Shakespeare gave my heart a moment of peace. <3

      - Dawn

      Delete
  13. I love Shawshank Redemption. I need to watch it again - been some time since I watched it.

    Great lesson in that story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zee, I never fail to be inspired by it. There are many powerful messages:
      Get busy living or get busy dying.
      Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good think ever dies.
      I can’t remind myself of this enough.

      Delete
  14. Love Ur Blog Dear ♥ beautiful pictures! i enjoyed seeing it


    If you have a minute, please check out my blog and follow me if you liked it. I'll appreciate it so much! Thanks!


    $30 RIRE giveaway on my blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Priscilla, thank you for stopping by and letting me know where to find you. I’ll swing by your place as soon as possible.

      Delete
  15. Reading this reminded me of when I started writing my novel. I was so scared. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything right so I bought all of the books, did research at the library, interviewed folks and the whole nine yards.

    When it came time to write I was stuck. Or maybe I was scared. I expected it to all pour out of me in a day or two because I decided it should! LOL! Of course it didn't work that way and when I finally allowed myself the space to create without pressure, the writing flowed so beautifully. It took a year and a half to get there, but doing it one step at a time or bird by bird was the key.

    My next project is my second novel and also getting the first one published and I have relapsed into control mode again, but this post will serve as a wonderful reminder. Thanks Debra! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tameka, sounds familiar. When I was writing my first novel it was the great adventure. You finished much quicker than I if you finished in a year and a half. Mine took five years because there was no outline, plot, even storyline. LOL. I read, read, read too. The Art of Fiction by James Gardner was helpful, and so I tried to do everything by the book.
      Then, when Bird by Bird hit the shelves, I was overjoyed to learn of Anne Lamott’s struggles ;-) It always does a writer’s heart good to know she’s not alone in her efforts.
      Now you have that balancing act of getting that first novel published and writing the second. Sending you blessings on both endeavors!

      Delete
  16. Hey, Debra! I have not seen Shawshank Redemption, but I've been wanting to. The lesson you pulled from it has inspired me to watch the movie for myself.
    I firmly believe in working on a writing project bit by bit. I recently finished my first novel, The Masterless Apprentice. It took me two years of work and then, before that, I adapted the novel from a spoiled idea I had worked on for awhile. If I looked always toward the end of my novels, I am sure I would go crazy (even more so than I am...)
    I prefer to think of my novels as stories unfolding as I write them. Just as life unfolds day by day, so novels unfold chapter by chapter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joshua, The Shawshank Redemption is a classic you don’t want to miss. It’s the most compelling movie I’ve ever seen. It’s my all-time favorite. Morgan Freeman is my man and Tim Robbins stole my heart!

      Outlines don’t work for me. I like the idea, like you, of allowing the creative process to decide the ending. My first novel didn’t have a plan, it just evolved into what it wanted to be. But, when the last line was written, I knew it was the final sentence. I knew.

      Delete
  17. Dear Debra,

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight!

    Just got my computer back in working order after the 'crash' that left me mostly offline for the past two weeks. I feel so far behind in everything -- photos to process, business proposals to present, blogs to write, and what about Bloggerbrook...???

    Thanks for the hug and the reality check. Everything is in Divine Order. Bird by bird I'll get it done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two weeks without a computer! Bless your heart. I’d have been fit to be tied ;-) I had no idea it would take two weeks – two weeks would seem an eternity without the tools to display worldwide our art, our heart!
      Bird by bird, inch by inch, and Bloggerbrook will be the best coffee house in town!

      Everyone has a worst fear. Mine is the loss (in this sweltering heat) of ice and air. Our freezer has been on the blink and I’ve driven to McDonald’s for bags of ice. But to live without a computer??? I’ll be writing on this soon. Remind me if I forget.

      Delete
  18. Debra,
    I so enjoyed your post. My walls are often figments in my imagination that something "bad" is lurking around the corner, or something "horrific" might be just after the joy.
    You are so right bit by bit...If I remember to enjoy the moment richly, I will not constantly be worried that the one not here yet is holding something unpleasant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, funny you’d mention that. We are in hurricane season, and that dread looms heavy. Oh, what a killjoy! The thought of no power. How to overcome the hurricane phobia? You are so right: enjoy the moment richly and don’t worry about the next minute. Live fully NOW! Enjoy that hiatus!

      Delete
  19. LOVE THIS! I love Stephen King's On Writing. Have you read Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird? It's fantastic. I also love Ralph Fletcher's Live Writing, but it's written for children, and since I teach future teachers who will teach young writers, I love this book.

    You ask an important question about walls? I think my walls are seconded by King - it's believing in myself enough to start.

    Happy seeing beautiful!
    http://seeabeautifulworld.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven’t heard of Ralph Fletcher’s book on writing. When you say it’s written for children, what target age? I teach writing to teens. Wasn’t Stephen’s book On Writing boss? Lydia, you are one of the most inspiring people ever, and you never fail to show up with something beautiful to share. Paying it forward is a concept that could change the world, one person at a time. Left you a link at your site of a recent small deed for a homeless guy.

      Delete
  20. I taught professional writing for years. When I set out to write a book based on my blog, I thought it wouldn't be that hard. After all, most all the material was already on my blog. Are you laughing yet? When I ran head on into the "bigness" of the project, I was overwhelmed. I didn't do anything for several months. Then I decided that it was time to fish or cut bait. Inch by inch was a great approach. I got through it somehow and the book will be released this fall.

    PS--That was a great movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Galen, do you see me laughing ;-) I’m smiling though because I’d love to know how you did it. I struggle all the time with the same thing. You don’t want your treasure to go to waste. I have more material than all the Shakespeare volumes combined (ok, hyperbole maybe), and don’t seem able to tie anything up into a seamless whole. I wish you’d do a post (if you haven’t already) on how you accomplished this particular goal. I could use something concrete about now. We’re talking can’t see the forest for the trees. So many trees in these woods you can’t find your way out of there.

      Delete
  21. I've seen that movie many times, and, you're so right -- it is a reminder of what persistence and hope can bring. What does it say about me, though, that each time I see it, I'm no less distressed by what Andy has to endure? Or that the movie sent me scrambling to read the Stephen King novella from which it was adapted? Anne Lamott's book is filled with wonderful tidbits, and there's such an honesty to it that I find as reassuring now as when I first read it. And Stephen King's words about writing, coupled with his masterful storytelling, are another kind of affirmation. Am I answering your question? Well, yes, in a roundabout way. When I'm in the middle of a big project -- like the novel I just finished -- what gets me working each day is the curiosity to know what's happening next. And in the moments, or days, when I'm hitting a wall, there's nothing more affirming than the words of other writers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deborah, I did the same thing: scrambled to read Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Hope Springs Eternal, the subtitle, made a lasting impression on me and inspired my own writing, as in a piece called “Hope is a Good Thing.” How could Stephen King paint such a harsh reality so convincing that readers find themselves in that hellhole with Andy and Red and Brooks and all the beloved characters? -- I couldn’t help but fall in love with Red, the guy who could get you anything.
      I wish my writing could be as honest as Anne’s Bird by Bird. I wish I had that kind of courage. Fiction is the only way I could be totally honest though! Oh, a forthcoming novel, how exciting! Interesting how you finished it: curiosity to know what’s next ;-)

      Delete
  22. Love this fabulous piece, Debra, and I paused for a moment remembering that wonderful film. You're so right, it is a powerful lesson in patience, persistence and hope!

    Having recently made a major life change, I feel like the "project" ahead is a big one, but one that I am excited to tackle. And I do feel like the job is taking it day by day, inch by inch. This definitely has its ups and downs, but I also feel that the journey itself is a gift that I am grateful for. This gets me through most of the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristen, it is the journey that counts. I need to remind myself of this often. It keeps us content where we are, but at the same time propels us onward. That most recent post of yours awakened so much in me that was dormant. Small passings and what they teach. And the questions asked,
      “How do we navigate the boundaries between taking a stand and giving up? Have I failed? Will this failure haunt me for the rest of my life? How do we remind ourselves weeks after, that we did our best?”

      Did these ever make me stop in my tracks! It feels almost time to write about that recent station from which I brushed off the dust. The situation that crippled me for weeks but showed how I needed to get out if I had to crawl out. How about you? Will you tell your story? Will we have to wait for the book release to find out?

      Delete
  23. Debra, this post spoke to me so much. First of all I loved The Shawshank Redemption and Stephen King's book On Writing. I can only approach my projects one sentence at a time. Some days I'll pen four pages, and other days a paragraph. I've learned to let go of expectations and to just allow myself to flow at whatever pace I need to go.
    Excellent post my dear. I'll have to purchase a copy of Bird by Bird. It sounds like my type of book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leah, I’ve learned that same lesson. Finally. I don’t beat myself up too much if I only write a paragraph in a given day. One paragraph gets you there, more slowly, yes, but you’re still moving. Word by word, sentence by sentence, bird by bird. I’ve got a feeling you’ll love Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird. She’s a bird herself!

      Delete
  24. So true Debra. This is such an inspirational writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy, I so appreciate that. I tried to comment on your blog last night, but had a hard time. I don’t give up easily though;-) I loved the story about the Chinese man and his son. I loved the whole content of your post. I’ll be back. And I hope you’ll be my new friend.
      My FB link is http://www.facebook.com/debra.elramey

      Delete
  25. First, I love the quote by Mr. King. It's one of those lines written across my brain in a Sharpie pen. It's a line I return to when I am hesitating or doubting myself at the start of a new project. It's the same for all of us, it;s like stage fright the first line on the blank page, but after, it;s like he says... the words keep on comic. I have learned to keep my heart and mind in the journey and not worry too much about what's around the corner. It takes work though, and there are days when I want to dream a sweet dream about a villa in Bareclona and secured book deal. I suppose the dream keeps me on my journey,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brenda, it is a bit like stage fright, that blank page. Your thought reminds me of those first piano recitals where you sat in your chair watching the others perform and dreading your turn. But. The beauty of writing is that it’s a stage that doesn’t require live performance, just you and the blank page. Do you ever see yourself doing readings live at bookstores though? People waiting around afterwards for you to sign their book? Isn’t it a fun dream!? I’ll keep your dream of the book deal in my wish-prayers if you’ll do the same. xox

      Delete
  26. I just ordered Anne Lamott's book. It should be here within a week;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You won't regret it! You'll laugh so hard.

      Delete
  27. I simply love ur writing. short and powerful. I do agree its worst before we start and we have to take it a step at a time and no more. I do remember that I wanted to write and to be read but I never thought it possible as I am a nobody. but yeah now I see I have taken a hundred and two steps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm nobody! Who are you?
      Are you nobody, too?
      Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
      They'd banish us, you know.
      How dreary to be somebody!
      How public, like a frog
      To tell your name the livelong day
      To an admiring bog!
      ~ Emily Dickinson

      Delete
  28. The Shawshank Redemption is just such a brilliant film no matter how many times you watch it.
    My husband always reminds me to break down BIG jobs into small bites.

    (Thank you so much for your emails, been not good the past week but I can't tell you what reading them did for my morale!! :)

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane, I have an Emily Dickinson poem for you, my angel friend across the ocean who blows snowflakes of feathers my way, and magically perfumes my day with white freesia and carnations!

      If I can stop one heart from breaking,
      I shall not live in vain;
      If I can ease one life the aching,
      Or cool one pain,
      Or help one fainting robin
      Unto his nest again,
      I shall not live in vain.

      Delete
  29. Hi Debra:
    Shawshank Redemption is one of my all time favorite movies. The scene that resonates most is the end when Andy is crawling through the drain. And he comes out clean. I see some correlation to my own life in that scene. I've had many challenges in my life and I've come through the other side clean. I have a job I adore. Friends I wouldn't trade for the world and a life that I love.

    It's THE reason the entire movie speaks to me. I could very well be Andy Dufresne.
    --
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, that scene of Andy crawling through the drain – as Red puts it, “through 500 yards of foulness I can’t even imagine… or maybe I just don’t want to...” And coming out clean. The scene pictured above is my favorite too. Coming out clean! Yeah, there’s an Andy Dufresne in me too!

      Delete
  30. Oh yes, what a great movie and a wonderful lesson. Take it easy, one step at a time. I have to remind myself of that often as I love to jump ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise, looks like you ARE taking it a step at a time with those awesome mandalas! I'll check out June's on Ebay.
      Enjoyed your art show, your photos, your time in the sun with the boys.

      Delete
  31. you know a little, my friend, of what I'm digging out of piece by piece right now, and I am taking it one step at a time – it's the only thing I CAN do. I have my shining light leading me home – keeping me "here and now" – I just need to keep walking into Him. Step. By. Step. Just like you wrote. Thank you Debra, countless thank you's for checking up on me – thank you – and thank you for this Today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Craig, I’ll just say the first thing that popped into my head when I read this. When I paused and closed my eyes and asked God to show me how to respond. And here is what surfaced from the depths.

      “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

      Tell me why this came to mind. You hold the key. Only you and God know.

      Delete
  32. A friend said Shawshank Redemption is her favorite movie. I never got to see it, but this piece helped me appreciate it. I have so many projects and I am fundamentally at a lazy mode to even get started. But as you say, inch by inch, cutting them down to doable pieces rather than the big picture all at once, is very effective. I will keep that in mind. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Monisima. You should see the movie too. It's a classic. All too often I'm in lazy mode too. But just getting started is what it takes to get me in full swing. That IS the hardest part: starting. I'm trying to get my daughter to learn this lesson. That inch by inch anything can be accomplished.

      Delete
  33. This is one of my favorite movies of all times. I believe I have seen this movie over a dozen times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. Bet I've seen it a dozen times too. Those characters are so rich and memorable.

      Delete
  34. Replies
    1. Are you okay Zarnab?
      That dream! What is going on in your life?

      Delete
    2. yeah okay:)sometimes my insecurities,complexes make me to die,sigh!

      Delete
    3. Oh, so its your insecurities haunting you. How they can bully, tell us we're no good. You can overcome them one by one, the only way to conquer the demons. One day at a time you'll find your true worth. You will!

      Delete
    4. Praying Zarnab! Praying!

      Delete
  35. I must find 'Bird by Bird' and read it. I've always thought of myself as a person who does everything all at once, like my multi-tasking issue. Not too long ago though I became acquainted with FlyLady and she suggests decluttering, cleaning, organizing your life in 15 minute increments. I don't always do things in 15 minutes sometimes it's less and sometimes it's more but, it works if I take the tasks in my life like I do my life... inch by inch, step by step, moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day. Plus, it helps immensely with staying in the present.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Fly Lady sounds wise. Even the thought of organizing depresses me :-( But this advice I might can handle. 15 minutes at a time. ok, I should try it.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...