Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010


On Virtual Buttercups, I've been lamenting my lack of balance when it comes to growing crops and making Recipes. Finding balance is more than a FV issue, though. I seek balance in every part of my life, but, like the PH value of a fish tank, it is not something you find only once. It is a continual adjustment.

Goals help. A stated goal focuses attention and resources. My stated goals for September are to write a book proposal and have the first three chapters of Elementals ready for submission to PYP in October. Actually, my goal is to have completed a second revision of the entire book this month. I have two test readers ready to go when that is done.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through Sherlock Holmes once said the brain only holds so much, so take care with what you choose to fill it. I used to laugh at that. Not so much anymore. Perhaps it is old age, but I don't remember as I once did. Time or attention given one place is taken from another. This is the curse of the flesh. I cannot be everywhere at once. My focus turns toward manuscript submission; everything else suffers.

This hard lesson is with us throughout life. We start to learn it as children. We cannot both go swimming and watch the movie. We must choose.

Dave Ramsey calls it "gazelle intensity." When you are focused on and committed to a goal, you funnel all your resources to achieving it. I have never been one to experience "gazelle intensity." Call me type B, call me too comfortable, call me chemically imbalanced (my personal favorite), but I do not rise to challenges. I sink to them.

It is that "weak" reaction I once referenced. I am not a fighter; I am a scholar. I will think myself to death before I pick up a sword and attack a dragon.

Part of this journey to publication is re-training. I am teaching myself to fight my instincts and "just do it." Even if I fail. Even if I make mistakes. Even if I accidentally mortally insult the wrong person along the way. I must just do it.

It is absolutely contrary to who I am, but that is what must be done if I am to become published. I wish there was someone else to do it for me. That is the wish of every child. It is the reason I am not published yet. It is not my writing that holds me back. It is me. I intend to discover if this year I can change that.

I do not know what it will mean for the rest of my life. I suppose it will mean, for a time, balance will be skewed. My farm may suffer (although I have plenty of 1, 2, 3 and 4 day crops yet to master). My social life may be more non-existent than usual (at least the cats can sit with me as I type). My political involvement may be walking neighborhoods instead of blog posts. So be it.

Slow and steady is my mantra. Today, I will walk that way (she points to the distant horizon of publication). It is all I can do.

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