Chasing the Rabbit

“If you chase two rabbits, you won’t catch either one.”

I found this old proverb in the terrific book The One Thing by Gary Keller. It changed the way I was thinking. It changed the way I am living, so now, I’m chasing the rabbit. (Here’s a FUN book trailer if you’re interested.)

Here’s what I learned.

group-of-rabbits. The One Thing, Chasing the Rabbit, Jill Kandel, WRiting Between Cultures, memoir, writing, author blog

I have a whole herd of disorderly rabbits in my life.

Every day I get up and chase a dozen things: laundry, cooking supper, writing a blog, researching my next book, dog sitting my daughter’s dog, making lunch for my son. I clean and shop and get groceries and go to the library and the post office and the bank. Life just takes over.

But not anymore.

The One Thing, Chasing the Rabbit, Circle of Rabbits, Jill Kandel, The One Thing

As I read through, The One Thing, I started analyzing my ‘rabbits.’  I told them, “GET IN LINE. I want to see who you really are!”

They lined up in a circle, not a line, but hey. Not bad for the disorderly bunch that they usually tend to be.

It’s not like I wanted to abandon any of them. I can’t stop cooking, can’t stop doing the laundry. But, I did prioritize them.

My One Thing

one-rabbit. The One Thing, Chasing the Rabbit, Jill Kandel, one,

The one rabbit that came out on top? Finishing my next book.

That’s My Rabbit. It’s what I want to chase every day.

The Other Rabbits

Chasing the Rabbit, Gary Keller, Jill Kandel, book, writing, writing time, writing between cultures, fargo writer, author, creative nonfiction, memoir

The other rabbits may fall down a little, be disorderly, get tipped over, or have to stand on top of each other to be recognized. The laundry might lay in a heap for two days. The garden not get weeded. But what I will do EVERY day is Write My Next Book.

I decided on three hours, because it fits my lifestyle. Maybe you can only dedicate one hour. Maybe it’s at night not in the morning. It doesn’t matter.

But the truth is pretty simple: the thing you do is the thing that will get done. 

Chasing the Rabbit

Chasing the Rabbit, The One Thing, Jill Kandel, writing betwen cultures, rabbits!

The FIRST thing I do every morning (after making coffee and journal writing and some coloring book/memory work) is to sit down at my desk and spend Three Hours, with my keyboard, Writing. I use the clock. If it’s two hours and a half, I tell myself, “Half an hour more. NO, You Cannot Stop. Finish it. Just Do It.”

It’s amazing how much gets done just because I’m sitting in a chair and refuse to let myself get up. 🙂

Just because I say, “The library trip can wait. The garden can be messy. The phone can go to voicemail. I Will Write.”

Catching the Rabbit


The funny thing is, my life hasn’t fallen apart.

And dang if it isn’t true. Every single day, I’ve not only chased that rabbit, I’ve caught it, too. 

At the end of three hours, I hold that rabbit up and look him in the eye and laugh. I did it. 

Then I let him down and he hops away rather pleased with himself. And I’d have to say, I’m rather pleased, too.

And then, the whole blimey herd of rabbits appears out of nowhere, bouncing and jostling to be noticed. They kick up their heels and beg for attention. But I don’t mind. In fact, it’s pretty nice to get out of my chair and step out into the world and see what the rest of the day will bring.

What’s Your Rabbit?

group-of-rabbits-2, Chasing the Rabbit, Jill Kandel, So Many Africas, Writing Between Cultures, Memoir, writer blog, The One Thing

What’s the rabbit in your life that is sitting up and begging to be noticed?

What’s the thing, above all else, you want to get done this month, or this year, or in the next five years? Half the job is figuring out what “that” is.

And when you know, then I’m wishing you the best of hunting.

Go Chase That Rabbit. I can’t wait to see what you catch! 





Jill Kandel
  • Kathryn Danylko
    Posted at 14:51h, 27 December Reply

    I sure can identify with that post! I’d better get my rabbits in a row, too.

    I started this year’s Christmas newsletter with:

    The days have melted into one another, into a puddle of past days and weeks and months that have become indistinguishable from each other. For three years, I have not written an update. For three years after I was laid off from Kodak, I stayed at home. Kodak called it early retirement. Society called it homemaking. I called it bliss.
    But I didn’t sit around and eat bonbons all day. Although my main goal after I was laid off was to write the book that God had put on my heart, I didn’t sit at a computer and write all day either. I intended to—but somehow the days had a way of filling with an ever-expanding list of chores, and I stayed ridiculously busy at doing seemingly nothing. At the end of the day, I had little to show for all my busyness. At work I would have finished a user manual or Help screens for a product. But at home after all the cooking, washing dishes, packing lunches, feeding the cat, sweeping, vacuuming, running errands, sorting, more cooking, baking, and more dishes, there were always more chores to do—even the same ones to do over. At the end of the day, there was no completed project to put in my portfolio. A clean kitchen remained clean only until the next meal, and a sink without dishes remain so no more than a few hours. And, depending on the season, there was also raking, digging, planting, weeding, stacking firewood, more weeding, watering gardens, still more weeding, carrying in wood, tending the wood-burning stove, shoveling snow, carrying in more firewood, and shoveling yet more snow. A former co-worker who was also laid off aptly noted, “I’m so busy now, I don’t know how I ever found time to show up at work!”

    Thankfully, I did end up finishing the book. It took more than three years. And I do have another book in the planning phases. I know what it’s going to be, but I have not made time to write. The fact that I went back to work as a technical writer doesn’t help. But I’ll have to analyze my rabbits, and perhaps my New Year’s resolution can be to catch that most important rabbit! Thanks for the inspiring words!

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