Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Next Best Thing by Heidi Chiavaroli

Heidi Chiavaroli
Dora here. Reading Heidi's post brought back so many sweet memories, and more than a few tears. My two sons are adults now, and I miss those carefree summer days with them so much! Fill up a giant mug with coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair, and savor whatever season you're in now. Enjoy The Next Best Thing by Heidi Chiavaroli.

We all know there’s something special about the last day of school. That taste of freedom, that light backpack with report card tucked inside, the knowing that there will be no homework that night or for the next 78 days.

As my kids came home from their last day of school, my oldest went off to enjoy an afternoon at his friend’s house. I planned a special afternoon with my youngest son, Noah. It involved Toys R Us and ice cream, so let me tell you, he was more than a little excited. He bought Pokemon cards at the toy store, opened the cards in the car before giving them a once-over and…asked what kind of ice cream we were going to buy. We made our purchase and went home to pack the cones with coffee ice cream—his favorite. Noah devoured his cone in three minutes, wiped his hands on his pants and…asked if I could push him on the swing. After a few minutes of that, he was off to swing his golf clubs.

No, my son does not suffer from any type of attention disorder, but he did race through our afternoon to get to each new fun thing.

I was reminded about my writing journey. I’m often in a rush to research for a new story idea, in a rush to plot and interview my characters, to write “The End” on my last page so I can edit and then submit.

I’m in a rush to obtain an agent. I’m in a rush to be published. And I’ll bet after I’m published I’ll be in a rush to check my Amazon Author Rank or win a contest with my book.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with striving toward the finish line and running the race God has set for us, both in our writing and in our lives. But all too often I forget to enjoy the journey. I’m too like my young son, ready to inhale my ice cream to get to the next best thing.

Right now, without any contracts or deadlines, I’m free to write. When I want, how I want. But I don’t often savor that freedom.

So today, when I sit down with my manuscript, I’m going to take a breath and be still for a moment. I’m going to relish the simple fact that I’m about to create something, to write something only I can write.

And then I’ll plunge myself into my story, not let myself go to bed until I’ve reached my word count. And in two months, once again, I’ll start submitting. But this time, I’m going to make time to be still and enjoy the journey.

Do you find yourself rushing to get to the next best thing? 
How do you take time to savor the journey?

Heidi Chiavaroli writes History Woven in Grace. She is a wife, mother, disciple, and grace-clinger. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and has finaled in the Genesis contest and My Book Therapy’s Frasier contest.


  1. You're so right, Heidi. I do the same thing ... can't wait to get to the end of something to start something else. For stories, it seems to come when I'm struggling in one and have ideas for another. :)

    1. So true, Sandy! Love the fun a new story idea sparks. For me the hard work comes after 10,000 words, when I'm in deep and it's not so fun anymore. ;)

  2. Hi Heidi, what a terrific, meaningful post. Yes, I'm in a rush. Almost a be-.careful-what-you-wish for. But every time I slow down it seems some other opportunity arises. Not all successful LOL,so I am learning to pick and choose better, I hope. Thanks for this wonderful, thoughtful post.

    1. I totally understand, Tanya. It's tough to know what to say 'no' to!

  3. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and live in the moment! It comes at an apropos time. :-) (And how can I expect my little ones to learn to savor the moment if they never see me modeling it?)

    1. Great point, Susan, and so true! I hadn't even thought of that. It's hard for me to imagine my boys "savoring" anything. lol Maybe they get that from me...? ;)

  4. Ouch! This hit home as I'm "rushing" to complete my current manuscript before heading to the RWA conference next week. Must. Slow. Down.
    Thanks for the reminder, Heidi. I loved this post!!

    1. lol Thanks Dora! Good luck finishing your manuscript! Have fun at the conference!


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