By Catherine Hudson
Photo © Lightstock.com
Life can get crazy. This seems to be exacerbated by the unprecedented technology available with all its choices—and that’s to say nothing of the usual chores that have to be done if we want to eat, sleep, and have clean clothes to put on in the morning.
This is where the smallest word can be the most powerful. NO.
This tiny word has the potential to enable, to bring freedom, and even to bring a framework or boundary to everyday modern life.
First up, NO opens the door to YES. Huh? Yes — you heard me, NO enables you to say yes. There are so many choices, so many ways to spend our time and energy and saying NO can make way for saying yes to something better or timelier.
We live in an age of more, but we can’t have it all. NO can eliminate, a sort of multi-choice method. All the options can be laid out on the table, making clear which items can be crossed from the list. We can choose then how to engage our time, energy and personal gifts.
This is particularly true of writers. There are several parts to the job: actually writing and editing (production), writing craft (study), and platform, better known as marketing. If publication is on the table, there’s a multitude of options that kind of boil down to two — Traditional publishing, or Indie.
Writers can work back from these two end results and ask what we want, saying NO to the myriad of demands and options, then focus our energy into what will bring the desired end result.
This works much the same for other areas of our life. Having a vision of where we want to end up can keep us heading in that direction and maintaining purpose along the way.
NO can give boundaries. Most commonly, NO creates boundaries within relationships. It’s the word that says “I will not overpower another, and neither will I be overpowered.” It creates mutuality. Of course it can bring tension — but then writers would simply harness that for story….
All jokes aside, NO has been a friend to me in keeping life ticking along, my writing moving forward, and strengthening the connections with those around me. How about you? Have you taken stock recently?
What is your desired end result?
What resources and giftings are available to reach it?
Where are the edges or boundaries? Can I define them better by saying NO?
Hopefully as we hit this mid-year mark we can slow the train and make sure we are on the right track whether for writing or our personal lives. I know this is something I have to do. Do you?
Catherine Hudson writes Historical and Contemporary romance for the CBA market. She was a finalist in the 2013 MARA Fiction from the Heartland contest.