Are you really blowing caution to the wind?

Think about it. Sometimes caution is a good thing. Sometime you need to regroup. There is a reason for the yellow light between stop and go.


Last night  I woke up at 1:30 a.m. and couldn’t sleep. I watched TV for five minutes and clicked it off.  I picked up an article. Went from one thing to another. Tried to fall asleep again. Never happened. Then I decided to go work out at the gym a good 25 minutes away. I was dressed in sweats and headed to the car at 3:45 a.m. I felt excitement at my being able to check off one of my daily goals so early!

I was amazed at how easy it was to fly through the empty dark streets at that hour of the morning, I had passed right through several lights marveling at how astute some programmer of lights was when finally I was confronted with a red stop light.

Interesting though, I could see the next five stop lights lying in front of me up the hill and they were all green.

I considered how often we take a red light, or even a yellow light, as a negative. We’re in a hurry. A light slows us down. It’s stopping us from getting somewhere, from reaching a goal.

I realized that if I  had gotten through the red light, I would have had clear sailing for miles. That reminded me of how we writers deal with rejection.

What if when I pulled up to the red light I had decided it wasn’t worth the effort and had driven back home because it was easier and too much trouble to have to wait, never finding out what would have happened if I’d stayed and carried on.  Maybe I would have hit lots of red lights.  OR, maybe I would have found out that all green lights lay ahead.

And so, right there in the very dark early morning I considered the times I had quit. One in particular.

I quit writing for five years in the early 80s to teach skin care classes. And I was successful. But then I realized cosmetics didn’t have the interest that mystery writing did.  I still  had that burning desire to write. So I got back on track. And this time I created a support system of writers by joining writing groups and attending writing conferences.

I often wonder if I hadn’t stopped writing those five years, would my novel be published, instead of finished and making the rounds?  Sometimes life happens. Disappointments occur. We keep on. That’s what we do as writers.

That early morning I encountered a blinking yellow light and paused, realizing that the smaller bumps are like yellow lights.

Something occurs to make us as writers re-access our approach to our work, your query letters or the selection of publishers we’re approaching.

Who knew even a mere yellow blinking light, a caution light, could be so important?

Whenever your writing is not working,  think of the blinking light, and if it reaches red light status,  remember all those green lights waiting on the other side.

Thanks Pinterest for photos.


  1. Catherine Dilts August 27, 2013 / 6:58 am

    Nice blog, Darla. Persistence does pay off. We used to joke that editors and agents don’t go around door to door knocking and asking for manuscripts. You have to get out there and risk those red lights.

  2. Maggie Mainzer August 27, 2013 / 7:09 am

    Great blog.! It also applies to many other situations in life.

  3. BB August 27, 2013 / 8:46 am

    Interesting analogy of lights and writing. Great blog!

    • dspbb August 27, 2013 / 7:04 pm

      I’m so glad you like what I’m doing. Talked to Ruth earlier. She was weak, they brought her supper food to her room, she was on her way to walk.

      She seemed resigned to selling her house. I told her everybody had to eventually. And what would she do with it i she didn’t? And of course that started the whole thing again…I’d live in it, etc. She’d looking forward to Chloe coming.

      Talked to Tom yesterday. They’re going to fix his abscess. Then he’s going to rehab.

      More later.

      Love you, D.

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