Quest 2016 Begins in Earnest

Quest2016

I’ve signed up for another virtual quest accompanied by a group of wonderful creatives from around the globe with Jeffrey Davis at the front of the pack leading us along a path where we pause every couple of days to ponder how we might want to do things differently this year. He’s brought together 12 visionaries from all walks of life and work to create prompts for us along the way. Questions that might nudge us to dig a little deeper, think a little differently, and create with more authenticity. Today marks the beginning of Quest 2016. There’s still time to join if you are intrigued!

Today’s prompt comes from Susan Piver:

“What I most need to tell myself about 2016 is…” 

My answer is both simple and straightforward – as well as complicated and unclear. I am wrestling with what seems to be my life’s constant companion: impatience.

I began questing for real over 3 years ago when I met Jeffrey Davis​ via Karen Brody​ and a webinar that she offered for those of us in the “birth world” who were interested in writing a book. A book? Me? It was only a passing thought, a fanciful idea that I might have something to say about my work with families in that most beautiful place where vulnerability crashes through whatever walls they’ve built to transform them – body and soul.

I listened to what Jeffrey had to say, albeit with a bit of skepticism. I kept wondering if he was authentic – a quality that I place the highest value on. Jeffrey is, in fact, as authentic as they come. As are all of the people he runs with. I jumped in with both feet and began my quest of writing a book having no idea where it would take me.

But three years later, I’m still writing the damn book!

Most writers reading this are probably shaking their heads right now and laughing! The gift of coming into the world of writing (relatively) late, is that I have no real idea what I’m doing. I make it all up as I go along and this affords me a level of naiveté that those steeped in the writing profession are already wise to: writing a book takes a really long time. Writing a good book, even longer. And a great book? The only one worth writing, in my opinion.

So, in the grand scheme of things, three+ years is nothing. And I’ve written 70,000 words already while working part-time and raising four children. I’ve started this blog and have maintained it for a little over a year (admittedly, some months better than others). I’ve submitted an essay that’s been accepted internationally (Canada, eh?), and I have one in the middle of the editing process right now. Most importantly, I’m more clear than ever what the real theme of my book is as a result of spending a week with the YBNS crew at Mohonk this past October having nothing else to distract me from The Story. Not too shabby, when I see it all written out, and yet…

I want this book to be completed already!

I’m actually enjoying the direction that my life has taken as I began this quest so long ago. I love the people that I’ve met because of this and my life (and social media) have both greatly improved as a result. It’s just that I keep wanting to get my message out there – into the hands and hearts of my people.

My message is not for everyone, but for the right people, I know it will have an impact on how they view themselves as individuals, parents and as a family. (Such audacity! Another gift of being new to this writing gig!) My message is clearer for the time it’s been percolating – getting knocked around, battered and bruised for all the rewriting that’s had to happen. My writing is so much stronger for all of it – for the blogging, the teaching, but most of all, the learning.

Impatience is both a curse and a blessing. Impatience spurs me on and keeps me going especially when the daily demands of being pulled in so many different directions threaten to unravel everything.

But impatience can also be paralyzing.

What if someone else writes my book before I do? Which, even though I don’t think is really possible, I scan the bookshelves at Powell’s just to make sure. I wonder if I’ll know when I’m done. I’m worried about what the next best step is to getting this project off the ground.

I have dreams of being farther along, or better yet, finished and that then maybe this restless feeling I have will finally settle. But maybe that’s just it – maybe once I said “Yes!” to this quest, I actually said yes to traveling on a journey that never really ends.

Maybe that’s what I most need to tell myself about 2016 – that this is just the beginning of my lifelong Quest. Make peace with your impatience, girl, because it will never go away – not completely. Once this quest is done – the book gets written, dare I say published? – don’t I secretly, or maybe not so secretly, hope for another quest to begin? See, my answer is simple and confounding at the same time. As all quests must be, I guess.

The irony of this revelation is not lost on me – it’s what I encourage my families to do as they prepare for their babies birth: Be open, flexible, vulnerable, expect the unexpected and – be patient.

Good advice that I might want to start taking.

If you’re at all interested in following what happens with this particular quest as I dare to write this book, please subscribe or follow this blog. You’ll be my traveling companions. I couldn’t imagine making this journey without you!

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16 thoughts on “Quest 2016 Begins in Earnest

  1. Preach it, sister! You must be in my head…..I am right there with you and the impatience. I love how you hit on the idea of impatience as a possible positive asset–maybe what we need is not to be more patient (and therefore less ourselves), but to learn to channel our powers of impatience for good. Impatient superheroes, unite!!!

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    • I often read your writing and think “Is Brenna real? How does she put my thoughts onto the page?” so it’s nice to see it working in reverse for a change. Good thing you and I aren’t writing about the same subject matter, eh? Impatient superheroes – yes! Let’s make capes!

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  2. “Make friends with your impatience, girl…” I’m in the club with Brenna….That’s a beautiful, line, Barb, thank you for this look into process. It is worth the wait. I’m with you. I’m working on patience too. Can’t wait for the book! So happy to be on quest with you again.

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  3. Pingback: Sea-change | Brenna Layne

  4. Just like birth, right, f-in’ breathing again. No one else can write your book you know. I think you told me this. There will only be your book being written by you. And that will make all the difference. xoS

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    • Suzi – I heart you so much! That is all – I am so thankful for you and the chance to know you through Quest and YBNS. Thanks for reminding me of what I said. (I might need you to do that for me from time to time, do you mind?)

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  5. Never too sure whether to mention this but given your post on birth, you might be interested in a short novella called ‘ A Shadow in Yucatan’ in which I tried to write about the ‘internal’ process of birth, the psychological necessity to accept death in service to life. I wrote it as much for men as women (who if they’ve been through it, know it anyway) and it is men who have most understood it.

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  6. I’m not too sure how I found you today. I was skipping through twitter looking for something interesting. I saw your name on someone’s tweet, not sure who, and here I am. I could have written your post. I’m writing my first book, too, for the last 15 months, about 55, 000 words in. I’ve always enjoyed writing and write 2 blogs when I realized one needed to have a book. I didn’t know what I was doing. What a learning process! It’s not as easy as it looks! But I’m far enough into it that I feel it coming together. But I have so many irons in the fire that it keeps me up have the night to work on them. So I keep chipping away. The social media aspect takes so much time but without people in your life your book won’t go anywhere. My book isn’t fiction. I can’t create a story line. It’s a real person living a real life. If you go to my main blog you’ll see. But I don’t want to promote me. I wanted to tell you I totally understand where you are.

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  7. Thanks for reading and commenting, Sonni! Just came off of a big writing/business workshop and I’m feeling both invigorated and as though my head might explode – but in a good way! :O) I’m not sure I could write fiction, either. I’m more of a trade non-fiction kind of gal – I can only write what I know. Good luck to you on your own writing journey! Keep writing!!!

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  8. I’ve seen different writing seminars and workshops and thought it would be fun but I don’t live places where I’ve seen any.most seem to be in cities. So I do a lot of reading online finding things that have helped me along. I’ve enjoyed the process. Is a lot like giving birth!

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