Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Highs and Lows


Okay, you non-race fans. Bear with me. There really is a point to this! I was watching an interview with last year’s Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne. In only his second Sprint Cup start, the 20-year-old (same as my Dear Boy) won the equivalent of the Super Bowl.

He was so green he had trouble finding Victory Lane. “I don’t even know where to go,” came over his radio after his burn-out.

Only a few weeks later, his career lay in jeopardy by a mysterious illness. Five weeks, he was forced to watch, mostly from a hospital bed, his car race without him.


Thankfully, the man recovered and has qualified for his second Daytona 500 race coming this Sunday.


High highs and low lows. They’re just part of life, whether you’re a race car driver, a parent, an accountant, or a writer.


The highs inspire us. Carry us. And the hope of them drive us forward in anticipation. It’s that hope that gives us our strongest motivation and propels us through most of our daily days. Reaching the highs is spectacular for a moment. Resting on it for too long can drag us down, but that element of reaching the high and the memory of it provide the fuel that creates our dreams in the first place.


If the highs inspire us, the lows direct us. As a teacher, misbehavior always resulted in redirecting. Not only did the word sound better than punishment, it was a more accurate description of what happened. I didn’t want to stifle the creativity or the spirit of my students. I just wanted to funnel it into an appropriate area.


Our failures treat us to the same instruction. Like a mouse in a maze reaching a dead end, we have to pick up and turn our enthusiasm to a different path. The lows threaten to rob us of hope and a positive attitude, but they don’t have to.


In fact, they really don’t have the power to do that. Dead ends only look like they stop us, but it depends on how we react to them. We can allow them to stop us, sit on our hineys and whine. Or we can pull a u-ee and try another possibility. (There are always other possibilities.)


Now this article isn’t an explanation of me making a drastic change. On the contrary, I’m riding on hope right now with my new story idea and am writing more than I have in months. But I have to be ready for set-backs: passes from agents, strong critiques, even poor reviews. I don’t expect them, but I have to be prepared for them so that when they come I can use them for growth instead of wrapping my emotions around them into a fetal position.


All of my goals, including reading, visiting other blogs, even my exercise, are on an upswing. It hasn’t been that way the whole time, but I’ve been able to find something to be pleased about with every update, even on weeks when I topple big.


Your Turn: Where are you this week? What’s spurring you on, or what’s holding you back?


Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

13 thoughts on “Highs and Lows

  1. A very, very inspirational post. May you have more highs than lows 🙂


  2. Really like this post!


  3. Thanks gals! Seems like every day I'm getting new ideas, not just for new stories, but for new twists in my current WIPs. Love it!


  4. Tightrope is a good way to put it! I know exactly how you feel. I thought that I had put the final pieces of my current WIP to bed before inspiration hit. Not a total rewrite, but some drastic changes! Yes, it's a balancing act.


  5. Celebrate the highs! Woohoo! So glad Trevor Bayne's trip inspired you!


  6. What a great post. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the lows and forget about the highs. Congrats on your positive attitude and good week:)


  7. sometimes a new story is what you need… enjoy your high!


  8. It's a roller coaster, to be sure. 🙂 Or, a tight rope act — I'm doing that, walking the fine line of an edit I hope is my last, with a slight re-write that forced the changing of some further scenes (argh, my rope is beginning to wobble!) but now I can see the end again. Whew! And we do this for fun?!!? 😛


  9. I am definitely on a high this week regarding my goals and it feels awesome! There have been a couple of things verging on lows, but I've been trying my best to not let them get me down. Thanks for this post to remind me of that. 🙂


  10. Thanks! What's up with you? No one to beat at Words with Friends tonight??? 🙂


  11. Thanks! So happy you found inspiration. I'm hoping the high lasts!


  12. Hi Marjivery inspirational, and congrats on your current highscas


  13. Marji,What a good word! I enjoy your posts.