To Find Success, Learn to Embrace the Meantime

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I came from a broken family who only knew broken ways. I felt adrift and couldn’t seem to find direction. Everything I did was always to please others, yet it left me empty and even more lost. I saw others being happy, successful, but every day felt like just more pain. I was terrified of making mistakes, paralyzed by the thought I might “fail” or be a “failure.” That’s one of the reasons I blog so much on changing our relationship with failure. If we don’t, we can never see success.

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Anyway, in college, I ran across a book that changed something very important in my belief system. My roommate was watching Oprah and she was interviewing Iyanla Vanzant and talking about her first book In the Meantime. When I read the book, a large part of what was wrong became instantly clear. I was always either looking back—at my missteps, wrong choices, dumb moves, or even romanticizing the past—or I was looking to the future. I could be happy when…

Once I finished my degree, life would be different…

Once I landed a good job, life would be better…

Once, I had X, did Y, learned Z, THEN it would all be perfect.

What I was forgetting was the largest part of what we experience…the meantime. The meantime has a purpose. It changes us, grows us, prepares us for our futures. When we set about to become successful writers, we are sowing seeds of something great. Years later, Joyce Meyers took Iyanla’s teachings to the next level for me. She taught me that:

There is seed, time and harvest.

More accurately, there is seed…TIIIIIIIIIIIMMMMME, MORE TIIIIIIIMMMMEEE, PROBABLY EVEN MORE TIMMMMMMMEEEE, then harvest. (Repeat)

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Joyce helped me understand that patience is more than the ability to wait; it’s how we act while we wait. We have to learn to get good at the waiting. We need to make use of the waiting. That’s part of why I write so many lessons about the character we need to be successful. The world is full of shooting stars, people who rise to the top, but who lack the character and strength of will to remain there. We can use the meantime to grow as people and professionals so that when fortune finally favors us, we have staying power.

The meantime has a purpose, but it’s usually longer than we’d like it to be. It’s the part the movies puts into a montage. It’s where the newbie and mentor finally are on the same page and we see the protagonist running in the snow, punching bags, or studying all night. It’s about three minutes long and has nifty music, and man, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just do the tough part of this journey in a montage?

*sings * I need a montage, a MONTAGE!

 We all want to reach the mountain top , but nothing grows there. We will spend most of our lives in the valley on our way to the next mountain and the next. Once you finish your first book, then you need to edit, to publish. Then there is the next book and the next. Mountain after mountain with valley in between.

But the valley is where we grow. Valley is meantime. Make your meantime count. Learn, make friends, forge relationships. Instead of fixating on sales numbers of your book, let it go. Write more. Read about the craft. Take craft classes and write more books. Meantime is everything and if we don’t learn to enjoy it, we miss out on the largest part of life.

Do you struggle with your meantime? Is it hard waiting? I know I am still growing in that area for sure! Have you become good at waiting? Do you find joy in your meantime? How? Tell us about it!

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of March, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of March I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

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  1. #1 by JoAnne Potter on March 5, 2013 - 7:35 am

    This is so true, and applies not only to success, but to living. How much waiting and yearning for something else I would like to have back…we don’t get any do-overs. Every minute we waste is gone forever. We have to live every one.

  2. #2 by tanlee3 on March 5, 2013 - 7:37 am

    I needed to hear this. Thank you. Thaaaank you. Thaaaaaaaaaaaank you Kristen.

  3. #3 by ravensquillz2013 on March 5, 2013 - 7:51 am

    Thank you for sharing with such vulnerability! I can relate to your story in so many ways, and have read two of her books and keep them available for daily inspiration! Being present in the moment has always been a struggle for me as well, but it really hit home after my oldest left home after she graduated … I realized, I didn’t want to hurry up with distractions anymore. I didn’t want to miss out on what precious little time I had left with my babies. Thank you again for yet another inspiring and meaningful blog!

  4. #4 by Lara on March 5, 2013 - 7:53 am

    Thank you, thank you, Kristen. I needed to hear that today. (hug) Sometimes perspective needs to be brought into sharper focus.

  5. #5 by Susan Fawy on March 5, 2013 - 8:00 am

    I have started writing at this juncture in my life, in part because in ten years I want to be able to retire and write full time, regardless of whether i am a success by the sales numbers. I realized that after my mom died, the only thing i wanted was something she had written, a recording of her voice, a piece of art her hand had touched. Sadly, there wasn’t al ot of that kind of thing to be found. I want it to be different for my children, I want to leave something that they can pick up and hold and wander through and feel a piece of me in the words, in the wirting. If i can touch the souls and emotions of complete strangers with my work, how much more those I love? They may scoff at me now (children do that) but later…i hope MUCH later… it may be the most precious thing i could leave them. So, my valleys are about creating a path that they can follow to find me, later, when the clouds of the mountain tops may obscure me from view…I am in this for the long haul!

    Thanks Kristen, i appreciate your post.

  6. #6 by Melinda S. Collins on March 5, 2013 - 8:13 am

    Oh, I needed that today, Kristen! *HUGS* I’m from a broken home also, so I relate with the need to please everyone, feeling as though nothing is ever good enough, and not knowing where you fit in the world. I spent a long time looking back, wondering “what if things were different” and trying to change who I was so that I’d fit in the crowd. It’s tough, but you get through it somehow. I learned something similar from that experience and it was that life can’t be dependent on the “maybes” and the “possibilities.” It’s about the here and now and what you do during the here and now is what’ll make or break you. So my “meantime” was my “here and now.” :)

    Thank you for sharing your story and the meantime with us!

  7. #7 by Robin on March 5, 2013 - 8:14 am

    Very true. I have actually learned to be good at waiting over the last few years. And enjoy the part where you see the first post, then the second and then 2 years later, hey! I have accumulated a ton in 2 years! that was a cool revelation when I was writing my 1st blog about fitness and health and trying to maintain weight. On that subject of staying healthy (my favorite), similar to what you said above about writing that first book, everyone tends to be so excited about what they’ll do’ when they lose weight, and they don’t think for a minute what to do when you get there. Why everyone gains it all back soonafter…..Be patient, develop a plan. Keep being flexible about changes that come your way….it’s interesting. I’m finding I have learned so many things about “life” and “writing” from those lessons on trying to stay healthy and what it takes to get and stay there….. Anyway, I digress…..thanks for your post!

  8. #8 by Kerry Ann on March 5, 2013 - 8:19 am

    Thank you. Patience is not one of my stronger qualities. You are right—we need to learn to savor life in limbo instead of wasting our days waiting for what’s next.

  9. #9 by Sisters From Another Mister on March 5, 2013 - 8:40 am

    In the midst of big life changes here – so in the meantime is really right where I need to be.
    Thank you for this ….

  10. #10 by StolenSays on March 5, 2013 - 8:47 am

    How apropos – I always find your posts relevant and inciteful, but it hits home particularly hard this morning. Thank you!

  11. #11 by Gloria Richard Author on March 5, 2013 - 8:50 am

    Yay, me, for my decision to stop pretending I’ll make better progress on my WIP if I disengage from most blogs.

    This is where the community thrives. This is where I gain inspiration. And, this is where I found an early-life think-alike with wisdom about how to stop weed-whacking a circuitous route through The Valley of Meanwhile.

    Thank you, Kristen.

    • #12 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 5, 2013 - 9:06 am

      We spend most of our time in the “in-between” and company is necessary for imagination to thrive. Our peers can give us love, support, and encouragement because it is very easy to spend too much time in our own heads and that’s when doubt and discouragement set in. Great hearing from you! *hugs* :D

  12. #13 by Mac Léinn on March 5, 2013 - 9:03 am

    I have been trying to write about this for a long time, but just couldn’t get my thoughts into words. You have done such a wonderful job here!! I wish I could make all my friends read this and appreciate every word. Thank you! Truly inspirational!

  13. #14 by midlifecrisisqueen on March 5, 2013 - 9:05 am

    You’re so right! There is no past and the future is a complete unknown. That’s why my daily meditation has become: “There is only right now, and right now I am OK.”

  14. #15 by Deborah Botham (@DeborahBotham) on March 5, 2013 - 9:07 am

    Thank you, thank you for the personal stories. We truly are not alone, although it sure does seem like it most days. Slogging through the day job will now be my meantime.

  15. #16 by Ellen M. Gregg on March 5, 2013 - 9:08 am

    So good. I’ve done a lot of work around living in the present. Some days hours minutes I’m better at it than others. Work in progress. I’m going to commit this to memory: patience is more than the ability to wait; it’s how we act while we wait.

  16. #17 by creativityorcrazy on March 5, 2013 - 9:09 am

    Nice post and something I really needed to hear. Thanks. Life is so not what I want it to be and I think I get stuck in this mentality at times. I’m being a caregiver for my husband and it seems as if all is stopped till this is over. I’m trying to work more on the “in the meantime” part…I’m trying to write, trying to grow things in the garden, and trying to still live life “in the meantime”.

  17. #18 by djharrison99 on March 5, 2013 - 9:18 am

    Love the brilliant support you bring to writers, Kristen.
    Now is the only time we will ever have, I’ve spent too much time waiting for tomorrow and becoming frustrated about the past.
    My own writing journey is teaching me to enjoy what I am doing even if progress seems too slow.
    I’m keen to help writers as well.

    http://djharrison99.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/financial-update-2-production-costs/

  18. #19 by Rachel Thompson on March 5, 2013 - 9:33 am

    living for the mountaintop by way of fertile valleys is a roller coaster existence. One is ether looking ahead or looking down, no level ground or open sky. This brings up the big questions of life- what is it all about? Is life about the struggle for success or is life about living it? Meantime is the now. The purpose of life is to live it, right now. As Joseph Campbell said live in the now but, ” follow your bliss.” If writing and publishing represents bliss, that’s good. But if success is the goal, it’s a shallow life. If the act of writing is blissful, now and not dependent on results, there you find bliss. A bigger view of life is a happier view. Everywhere can be level ground, success or failure in worldly terms doesn’t need to matter. Why live in the valleys or mountains when you can walk level ground or rise above it all and fly? Oprah’s pop psychology is too limiting. Why play self induced mind games when you can face reality and life honestly? The truth is you can write as well as you want to write- you only need work at it to achieve it.

    • #20 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 5, 2013 - 9:40 am

      But success doesn’t necessarily mean money or fame. Success is individual. My first “success” was simply finishing a book. I had a bad habit of starting projects and never finishing. We have to determine “success” because if we let the outside world determine it, we’ll go nuts because we can’t ever live up to the manufactured expectations.

      I think pop psychology has its place. I believe we take away lessons from everything and make it ours. And a lot of pop psychology is about letting go of fear and embracing our own bliss. I can’t see how that’s anything but helpful. To be dimensional, we also look to other sources. No one thing should ever be the sole fountain of our meaning.

  19. #21 by renée a. schuls-jacobson on March 5, 2013 - 9:46 am

    Poop. I’m in the valley. Dr. Seuss called it The Waiting Place. It’s not fun. I don’t like the valley, and I am so grateful to all the WANA’s who have offered me help during this difficult time.

  20. #22 by Bob Stewartrcs1738 on March 5, 2013 - 9:51 am

    Kristen what you said is excellent and it is what I try to practice. I hope your readers are not offended by this quote from the scripture, but I’ve, also, tried to make the following my “meantime” and it does help. Close parallel to your thoughts.

    Philippians 4:8

    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    – King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Pure Cambridge Edition

    Bob Stewart

  21. #23 by Catherine Johnson on March 5, 2013 - 9:51 am

    I love the meantime, at least it has the word time in it :0)

  22. #24 by Tricia Rose Burt on March 5, 2013 - 9:54 am

    I once went to a funeral of an Episcopalian bishop who died under tragic circumstances. As we all tried to comprehend the situation, one of the clergy who spoke said, “The meaning is in the waiting.” It resonated to my core, as did your blog today. I learned in art school (and in my church) that life and creativity are all about PROCESS, not about product. I’ve been working at that for 20 years, and it’s still hard. By the way, I love Joyce Meyers’ take on this topic too!

  23. #25 by stephanieberget on March 5, 2013 - 10:39 am

    Just what I needed to hear. Be productive in the meantime.

  24. #26 by Jaspreet Taunque on March 5, 2013 - 10:40 am

    Yes, Kristen. I’ve been a shooting star once, at the helm of my youth. But soon, I realised that in order to become a Sun, I needed to start glowing from within and lose that flashy trail that consumed me. I’m now in the meantime and it helps to not be mean to self(or others) in that time ;)

    Would also like to invite you to my blog http://jas-thinkingaloud.blogspot.in/

  25. #27 by billgncs on March 5, 2013 - 10:42 am

    someone told me with poetry to write it, ( seed ) step away for week, a month ( time ) and then revisit. I rarely can, but I see the merit of it.

    It suggests the birth of something good requires maturity.

  26. #28 by Maria M on March 5, 2013 - 10:43 am

    Loved this post! Probably because when I started to read it, I felt it was the story of my life. Hopeful. Thanks for writing it!

  27. #29 by patriciamillerwriting on March 5, 2013 - 10:43 am

    As cliche as it may sound, life is short. Thanks for this wonderful reminder that there’s joy to be had and it lives in the journey!

  28. #30 by kinleybaker on March 5, 2013 - 10:57 am

    Exactly what I needed to read today. Reminds me of your tree post. I have a post coming up I want to link to your tree post about strengthening roots.

  29. #31 by Stacey Brutger on March 5, 2013 - 11:14 am

    I read all your posts, but I don’t comment. I just had to say very well said and so true! I need to learn how to do this better. I need to let go of the angst of worrying about the past and the worry about the future and just allow myself to live in the present without stressing about things that can’t be changed.

    Great post!

  30. #32 by Tami Clayton on March 5, 2013 - 11:20 am

    Love this. Thanks for the reminder that we can and should make the most of the meantime.

  31. #33 by SweetSong on March 5, 2013 - 11:24 am

    Hear hear!
    Actually, I’ve never heard this put this way before, but it makes sense. Isn’t it funny how you can say the same thing a hundred ways, but one – just one – will help someone understand it the way that particular way can?

  32. #34 by Debra Desselle on March 5, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Love your columns. You have a lot of wisdom. So glad I went to the talk you gave at my library.

    I felt just like you: It will be wonderful when I graduate from high school, college, graduate school, when I do this, or that….

    It really is true that life happens in the meantime. I’m 59 and finally just realizing that. Now I’m content (for the most part) in the meantime….

  33. #35 by Krista on March 5, 2013 - 11:55 am

    I had to leave a comment because I’ve been thinking a lot about this very subject lately. Whenever I feel I’m off balance and thinking constantly of the many,many things I should be doing…not in the moment. I go outside and garden. Nature has a way of putting everything into perspective.

    I’ll post tomorrow on my blog and link back to you.
    Thank you.

  34. #36 by Gerri Lanier on March 5, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    * The meantime. What a wonderful word to describe all that a writer goes through. Thanks so much for this inspirational post! I used to beat myself up for years, thinking that I must be doing something wrong in not attaining my goals soon enough. Once I began to reach out to others by sharing my work, expressing myself, and learning from them I realized that I should never take the meantime for granted. Not only because I’ve come to believe that I will reach my goals somehow but also because I’m not alone.

  35. #37 by Shar on March 5, 2013 - 12:02 pm

    I have been a lurker on your blog for several months , but read and enjoy all your posts. This one really resonates with me. I hate waiting and struggle hard to focus on the present and to be happy with where I am mnow. Joyce Meyers is a wonderful author – her books have helped me as well. I haven’t heard of the first book you mentioned, but plan to check it out. Thanks for the post and the reminder.

  36. #38 by authoralainamarks on March 5, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    I really needed this post today….my meantime as far as writing has been only a few months but its been a rough few months……my meantime in general has had its lows and highs but I thank you for posting this..I have to get great at waiting….all great things are worth waiting for!!!

  37. #39 by lisawiedmeier on March 5, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    Thanks for the reminder and thanks for blessing my life with your inspirational thoughts.

  38. #40 by hcfbutton on March 5, 2013 - 1:11 pm

    This is a fantastic reminder, since I always find myself preparing for the next thing. Which satisfies the goal-driver inside me, but doesn’t necessarily satisfy the rest of me.

  39. #41 by stephscottil on March 5, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    Just a general comment, reading over the comments here shows what a great community this blog has built up, and the #MyWANA folks. It’s truly touching to read what some of you write here. I appreciate it.

  40. #42 by Writer / Mummy on March 5, 2013 - 2:25 pm

    An appropriate lesson at the perfect time, thank you so much!

  41. #43 by MaLinda Johnson on March 5, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    I think the meantime is all the time. The secret to being happy, therefore, is learning to be content with what you have now while always being open to ways to improve what you do in the future..

  42. #44 by Tracy Bermeo on March 5, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    I actually like the meantime. It allows for free thinking which leads to new ideas without pressure. Excellent post as usual !

  43. #45 by Jami Gold on March 5, 2013 - 3:11 pm

    Love, love, love this post! Yes, long ago, someone asked me how my situation would have to change to make me happy. I didn’t know. And if you don’t know where you’re headed, you’ll never get there.

    I learned that instead of thinking that “things” or “situations” would MAKE me happy, I had to choose to be happy inside. That’s a big part of the meantime–not just looking toward the next step (some future situation) so much that we don’t appreciate the now. Thanks for sharing! :)

  44. #46 by Andrea on March 5, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    Kristen, reading this blog, was like reading my own thoughts. I live far too often in the past. I romanticize what was, and forget that I also struggled then. I regret the missed opportunities and some choices I made. At the same time, I realize had I not made those choices, I wouldn’t be who I am now. All of it has made me a stronger person. Yet, I still can’t manage to be happy with what I do, or with who I am and this reflects on how I spend my every day. I’m a writer, a photographer and I hope to be a filmmaker too. A degree in journalism and a master in gender, I thought would open doors for me everywhere, but they haven’t. To pay the bills, I work as a waitress. I fear everyday that this all I will ever do with my time. Like you at one point in your life, I feel I have failed to myself and others. How do I learn to enjoy the meantime?

    Thank you for your blog. After reading other people’s comments I realize how many of us struggle with this. Thank you, thank you!

  45. #47 by pamelacook on March 5, 2013 - 3:57 pm

    Mountain after mountain with valley in between. So true Kristen. I’ve recently had mynfirst novel published which was a dream come true. I really was on the mountain top! I’m now back in the valley trying to work out what to write next but I know that with time and effort I can get back upmthre and bask in the view.

  46. #48 by jamielynnboothe on March 5, 2013 - 4:05 pm

    Thank you Kristen for writing this I am so glad that I took the time to read it!! I can relate so much to this!! I used to be terrible at living in the past, I still think about it but not at the level I used too thankfully. I don’t dwell on it because it holds a lot of negative stuff but I believe that if I forget about it that it could happen again. I also struggle greatly with thinking and obsessing about the future. I want my first novel to be finished and successful so bad because I am sick of being poor and just want to be more comfortable but also because of feeling that I have finally been successful at something good in my life. At the same time I have a hard time with the present. Right now I am waiting ot have my first novel edited so I can publish it, after I revise it again, and it’s hard for me to be patient. I have started the sequel to it AND another novel as well as well as having a couple more ideas on the side. However I struggle with writing a lot of days and I don’t know why. I need to get off my tail end and be productive and not think so much about something I can’t control right now. You are absolutely right about what you said on growing from the mean time. It is very important. I have been through some experiences over the last few years because I am in recovery. I just celebrated a year clean. I am currently in a sober house that I do not want to be in but my circumstances are not able to provide me with a place of my own or anything better. I know I am here for a reason and I need to look at it more in a positive way. I will get through it easier and learn and grow from it. I have been able to do it before and I can again. I feel good after reading what you wrote so thank you!! I will grow from this “mean time” and be more productive in a positive way for me and my writing. ((( HUGS )))

    • #49 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 5, 2013 - 4:47 pm

      ((HUGS)) Back to you and congratulations. Most of life is the meantime, so enjoy it. One foot in front of the other :D.

      • #50 by jamielynnboothe on March 5, 2013 - 4:50 pm

        I will do the best that I can, I might need to be reminded from time to time lol but just for today I will make the best of it then when tomorrow gets here I will focus on it. :-)

  47. #51 by Marianne Sheldon on March 5, 2013 - 4:20 pm

    Thank you for this post. I needed to read it today.

  48. #52 by susielindau on March 5, 2013 - 4:49 pm

    Dang! I could use some meantime! I just can’t wait until I’m up on top of that mountain. I may prefer to ski down while educating myself. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a chairlift to get up the next big mountain? I plan to throw my skis in my pack and take baby steps back up again…
    I hadn’t thought too much about the meantime except that I was looking forward to working on several other projects. I don’t think I will ever recognize the top, even if I am that one in a million to reach the summit!
    How’s the view Kristen? :)

  49. #53 by Elizabeth Fais on March 5, 2013 - 4:55 pm

    Taking *time* out of my equation for success got rid of a lot of stress and let me to enjoy the journey along the way. ;-)

  50. #54 by danielocceno on March 5, 2013 - 5:03 pm

    The future is dealing with the present.

  51. #55 by Sandra Wagner-Wright on March 5, 2013 - 6:17 pm

    The only moment we have is the one we are in. It is our choice whether to embrace it or waste it. To grow or to stagnate. Well said, Kristen

  52. #56 by Tamara LeBlanc on March 5, 2013 - 6:53 pm

    This is a definite, DEFINITE ah-ha moment for me.
    Meantime…how profound!!
    Thank you Kristen, for your wisdom, support and willingness to tell your own story.
    You’re awesome :)
    Have a great evening!
    Tamara

  53. #57 by T. W. Dittmer on March 5, 2013 - 8:38 pm

    Look at you, going all Zen. ;-)

  54. #58 by John Hayden on March 5, 2013 - 9:55 pm

    Meantime . . . Also known as “the present moment.” I agree that it’s too easy to focus on the past or the future. Our life is happening right now, in the present moment.

  55. #59 by Jess Witkins on March 5, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    I think my hard lesson learned is that changing your attitude, perceiving happiness in a new way can be a good thing or can be like looking through rose tinted glasses at a pile of poop someone left on your desk! After many overdue years, I’m committed to quitting my job at the end of the month. That is HUGE. Whether I line up another job or not right away, I’ve committed to leaving the job that sucks the life out of me. And it’s the first SCARY, amazing step I’ve done to gifting myself with more time to write. I want to finish the book draft.

    *deep sigh* Meantime.

  56. #60 by Katherine Owen - Novelist on March 5, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    This is an amazing post. Your voice comes through in a very personal way and reminded me, like no one else has been able to do, to “embrace” the writing life (my own “in the meantime”). I’ve been focused on all of theses things (sales, branding, blogging, personifying) for all the wrong reasons for the past year, trying to replace the high paying sales job with writing fiction full-time, in other words, to justify myself and my decision to pursue the writing. Yet, I managed to allow all the joy and purpose I used to find in fiction writing to be sucked out of me and “it”. This post reminds me of the journey and the reasons to actually look down at the path and appreciate the steps I’m taking, instead of constantly looking at the next mountain up ahead because it is absolutely true that the most important thing is to be present, instead of looking back. I #loveit!!! Thank you, Kristen.

  57. #61 by Angela on March 5, 2013 - 11:26 pm

    Lovely article, thank you.
    I thought there might be something wrong with me because I am content to take it slowly and don’t expect my first novel to be a smash hit. You have definitely given me a healthier perspective.

  58. #62 by Lorraine Marie Reguly on March 6, 2013 - 2:12 am

    I totally agree with the concept that you have to enjoy the “here and now”, for there may not always be a tomorrow! Plus, you never know what tomorrow will bring…. an accident, a death, a virus on your computer, etc… which may dismal thinking, but it is TRUE…

  59. #63 by Cheryl Fassett on March 6, 2013 - 6:24 am

    Thank you for posting this just when I needed to hear it! I love the idea of being in the valley growing as I approach the next mountain on my path. :)

  60. #64 by Zia Alizada on March 6, 2013 - 6:31 am

    This is very beautiful, revitalizing, rejuvenating piece, i would love to share it with my friends on facebook, twitter & everywhere. Thank you for this!!

  61. #65 by Glynn James on March 6, 2013 - 8:00 am

    One big nod to this article.
    I have never been, and suspect I never will be, any good at waiting for anything.
    So, I avoid waiting wherever possible.
    Writing and reading are my ways to do that.
    The day that I first put pen to paper (when I was eight years old – well over three decades ago – and chose to re-write the ending to “I Am Legend” because I didn’t like it), I found that I never had to wait for anything ever again.

  62. #66 by abigler42 on March 6, 2013 - 8:10 am

    Thank you for this post, it’s the perfect way to start my writing day. I can relate to this in every way and it’s a constant practice to live in the now. One method I use of living in the present is to use a gratitude journal. Every day (or every few days) I open this journal and write a few detailed sentences of what I am grateful for now. It helps to center me in the here and now.

  63. #67 by katmagendie on March 6, 2013 - 9:56 am

    I scurried over here because I read “mean time” and I thought “YEAH! ARGGH! I AM FEELING MEAN, TOO, ARRRGH!* — then it was, “oh, meantime – huhn . . . ”

    I am NOT a patient person; however, I have had to learn patience in this business. So I do a kind of impatient patience – a jittery all over the place waiting. A crazy chaotic jumbledy fwump of waiting.

  64. #68 by gretchenwing on March 6, 2013 - 11:14 am

    “Nothing grows on the mountaintop.” I LOVE that. That wins my prize for the simplest, truest message you never, ever hear.

  65. #69 by Deb Atwood on March 6, 2013 - 11:24 am

    One of the prompts I give my students is to write about a book that changed their lives. I have them read Jessica Estep’s inspiring Harvard essay. Now I think I will have them read your blog, too, about the book that changed you. I love the meantime idea!

  66. #70 by Suzanne Vince on March 6, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! Four years ago I was so inspired by Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth (author of The Power of Now), that I must’ve listed to the audio tape 50 times before I GOT IT. There is no past, no future, only this moment. How you choose to treat this moment will determine your level of satisfaction in life, but whatever you resist, persists. Great stuff!

  67. #71 by SwordBearer on March 6, 2013 - 1:11 pm

    Reblogged this on moniquerockliffe and commented:
    There is some great advice here so I had to share! I know it’s difficult for us busy writers when we have those ‘still’ moments, when nothing seems to be happening and we’re in between books or a job or writing project. We feel guilty, out of sorts, itchy, and useless when we aren’t slogging away at our computers writing!! But it’s important to understand that in those valleys, as Kristen puts it, in those dark quiet times, is where we learn the most. Being still and living in the now/the moment, and listening to our Muses, is, I believe, more important than those times we’re writing. In the valley – the meantimes – is where we receive inspiration and guidance and where we are most open to growing and becoming better writers and people.

    Please share your thoughts. You know I love listening!

  68. #72 by harbingr on March 6, 2013 - 4:20 pm

    How about over 30 years of mean-time, and valleys? The famous “Don’t Quit” poem, ya know, “when things go wrong as they often will” one, hangs behind my desk. When I think back over the years, as I built my foundation in my 20s, put the floors in and the walls up in my 30s, a roof on top in my 40s, and placed people and things into my house in my 50s…now, in my 60’s I’m poised to see what I have built with my life.

  69. #73 by Daphne Shadows on March 6, 2013 - 6:38 pm

    My current ‘meantime’ sucks. But hearing someone else talking about it like its a real thing and not just in my head – is such an encouragement. I’ve been being positive, I’ve been looking on the bright side, and I’ve been doing what I can for now. But lately its been so crappy that I’ve had to really REACH for deciding to be happy. I’ve really had to reach to tell myself that I’m not going to be stuck here in this situation I’ve dubbed ‘hotel hell’ for forever. I’ve really had to tell myself that I need to keep looking for the positive.
    Reading something like this tells me not to give up. Thanks. :)

  70. #74 by Rebecca Hollon on March 6, 2013 - 10:49 pm

    This post could have been specifically about me, but I know I’m not alone! I just recently stumbled upon this blog and have found Kristen to be extremely insightful, understanding, and empathetic. Every post I’ve read has spoken directly to some area of my life, whether in the writing or personal arena–or both. I can distinctly remember driving home from college one day, anticipating an evening of homework, playing with my child, homework, listening to my child, dinner, reading to and putting my child to bed, homework, homework, and more homework, followed by a few hours of precious writing time until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I felt like my life was on hold, just waiting for the day when the stressful times would end and my “real life” would begin. And then, waiting at a red light, I realized that I was already living my life, everyday. I was learning and growing and changing, preparing for the future and watching a beautiful child turn into a beautiful human being with infinite potential. Waiting for my “real life” to begin was making me miss out on the life that was already happening everyday. My life was passing me by as I naively waited for it to start! Thank you so much for this post, such a good reminder; it’s a blessing to know that I’m most certainly not alone!

  71. #75 by macswriter on March 8, 2013 - 2:48 pm

    Wow, Kristen you sure hit the jackpot with this post. Your message has resonated with a lot of people, me included. When I was younger I was ambitious and terribly impatient. I grabbed life by the throat and shook it until I got what I wanted. Whether it was education, a job, a relationship or any other experience. Then I’d rush through or throw away the things that didn’t seem to be delivering the goods. How many of those things might have born fruit if I’d enjoyed the process more and given each experience the time necessary to mature and evolve. What more might I have learned if I’d been living in the moment? I’ve learned the hard way that life is ALL about the process. It’s about the meantime. Being in the now. That’s why I’m a struggling practicing Buddhist now. (Any religion will do as long as you take the time to get centered and outside of yourself) The practice (yoga, meditation, visualization) brings me to the moment, shuts down the noise both inside my head and out there in the world, and gives me clarity and patience. I still have desires, I’m still frustrated by how long things take, by how things don’t work out the way I’d like them to, but now I know to allow things to unfold and just be the best I can be in the moment, whatever that means. A word of advice for the young people out there: whatever is going on in your life right now is not permanent. Nothing is. Don’t short change yourself the experiences you’re having because they are different from what you wanted. Sometimes if you bring positivity to your situation that’s all it takes to change it. Interdependent arising. You are a part of what is happening to you. And it’s all happening for a reason. Be the best you know how to be right now.

  72. #76 by ontyrepassages on March 9, 2013 - 3:20 am

    It’s taken a long time, but I’ve finally begun appreciating “the meantime” and learning to enjoy my time there.

  73. #77 by David Erickson on March 9, 2013 - 9:15 am

    So many posts that I can’t take the time to read them all, but the theme of each appears to be the same. So, it appears I’m not the only one in the ‘meantime’ mode waiting for the next big step that will make the world shine for me.

    Thanks for your timely blog.

  74. #78 by Jean Willett on March 9, 2013 - 10:41 am

    Thank you for a lovely reminder that life is full of “meantime”, that learning to live in the *now* keeps us moving forward. I’ve shared on my FB page because so many others can be nourished by this reminder. And Joyce Meyers does have a way of getting to the bottom line fast, doesn’t she?

    • #79 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 10, 2013 - 8:27 am

      I LOVE HER. I listen to her every morning and she is all I play in my car. She’s a treasure for sure and I don’t know if I’d have ever grown up without her.

  75. #80 by The Mercurial Housewife on March 9, 2013 - 8:25 pm

    I have made great strides in enjoying my meantime in the last couple of years. I garden, take walks, at with my son and teach him. Laugh with him and with my husband. I look around and realize that life is always happening and I am learning to take deeper breaths and feel the sun on my face. Noticing stillness and finding myself contented. Sometimes it’s only for a moment but I noticed that moment and learned from it.

  76. #81 by mandimon on March 14, 2013 - 5:39 pm

    I needed this message today.

  77. #82 by Arshad Mahmood on March 18, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Dear Author Kristen lamb,Hi.I wrote my self a story full of thrill and action i am confident my story will going to be hit if you can help me on volunteer basis confined my raw from of story in to viable scripr and manuscript.In my case i need your generous help because my noble desire is to print in to shape and then i want to produce film on it and then i donate my earning from film go to Childrens with Aids.Definity god will going to give us rewards with good health and give happeness in our lifes.I shall be greatful to you ofr your early poitive repouse.Please Please I request to you help me to make it possible i know that it differt to help me free but try once in your lifes.Please i request……………….?Thank you.

    • #83 by Author Kristen Lamb on March 18, 2013 - 12:09 pm

      I appreciate the request, but I don’t do this sort of work. Best wishes :D.

  78. #84 by lillymarge013 on May 18, 2013 - 6:17 pm

    Just getting my first taste of your blog. I’m really enjoying it. My sister and I are both “in the meantimers.” Your insights hit the spot. I’m an avid fan of Joyce Meyers, too, and am currently reading “The Battlefield of the Mind”. Joyce is most gifted. Thanks for being you!

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