Monday, March 5, 2012

Slow and Easy; Fast and Hard

We are individuals. Some of us have light skin, while others have darker skin. We speak different languages, some even using sign language to communicate. There are blue and green eyes, athletics and artists, teachers and students. Each person is made up of personal traits, family histories, environmental influences, likes, dislikes, and preferences that define us.

I'm sure you know someone who follows every traffic law. Just as you know someone who's not as sensitive to following the speed limit. :) Or someone who despises the subject of Math, but loves History.

It took me a while to realize this same mentality and appreciation for life's differences applies to the writing world. For those of you who are just starting out with writing, I'm hoping what comes next will comfort you. And for you vintage writers, I know you'll relate.

When I decided to become a serious writer, I had a set picture in my head of how it was going to work, the elements I'd need to concentrate on, and the time I had to do it. I've always been a go-getter, passionate, and devoted to anything project I decided is for me. So I grabbed the publishing world and writing by the horns and jumped in both feet.

But at times, I felt like this...
...like I needed so much help that I'd never 
accomplish anything.

And man, did I receive fantastic help. There's nothing like the writing community. 

Other times, the publishing world looked
like this to me...
...big, sophisticated, and hungry.

Hungry for what? I wasn't sure that first year. I was nervous about everything from reading others work and giving a critique to putting myself out there, letting others read my work. So I set goals, promising that I'd get this done by this date and that completed by that date and so on.

Yeah, the problem was I'd left LIFE out of the equation.

I ended up seeing my writing like this...
...one measly letter at a time, while it
seemed the rest of the writing world
was on fire with accomplishments.
And if you know anything about me,
it's that I'm not fond of laziness
or underachieving. Major
pet-peeve.

But overall, I've learned to reevaluate my writing on a daily and weekly basis, giving myself permission for LIFE to happen. I have a new awareness about myself, the people around me--including all you fangtastical blogging friends--and the world. I've learned that I can grow at a slow and easy pace that is suitable for me today, but tomorrow might allow me to speed up, forging fast and hard into whatever I'm working on.

Either way, I'll accomplish all I set out to do and so will each of you.

So, what gives? Any of you ever feel like a snail stuck in glue?

29 comments:

  1. YES! I am especially finding I have to tell my self these truths at the moment. I am in awe of what other in the 12x12 picture book group can achieve in a month... and I have to accept my style and approach is mine and no one else's and I have to be true to me. Great post.

    Is that a groovy slug or a caterpillar?

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  2. Certainly -- not everything happens at the pace you expect, no matter how much you want it to. I learned that lesson, too. Occasionally a bunch of stuff will happen altogether, and then ... nothing for a very long time. I'm working on learning to accept that!

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  3. I really love when writers emphasize this--and don't like it so much when people prescribe a certain "right way" to go about this (like, say, all the admonitions to "write every day, even if it's just for a few minutes!"). We all do things at our own speed, and in our own way, and there is no single right path. And, as you say, even for a single person, that "right way" can change from day to day or week to week, depending on what's happening in the rest of her life. What a beautiful post, Sheri!

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  4. I'm stuck in the hurry up and wait mode now. I have so many things going on, I can barely finish one when another comes in, but I still want to try and get to the other, but then nothing gets done, because the child is sick, the laundry is piling up and God only knows what we're going to have for supper tonight.

    But then I realize I work from home so what did I expect, and I'd rather be here and frustrated, than anywhere else and content.

    As for accomplishing goals on time, or whatever time limit I've set, never, not once, has that ever happened. So now whenever I set a goal, I always add another two months to the back end of it. Then I don't feel so bad.

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  5. Yes I can so relate to this. And I'm so okay with being slow right now. Because I have a full-time job, a daughter who needs me to take her to all her swim events, a busy blog, and new skills to learn for a career move in about two year, plus a house and husband to take care of. I can only humanly do so much even being super productive. If I get a publishing contract, I know I'll be able to adjust what I do so I can speed up.

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  6. This is a great post, especially for those of us who feel like "a snail stuck in glue" (great analogy). When I get to feeling this way, I look up some of my favorite authors who have been writing for years but only have a few books published. These authors took the slow and steady route, and you can tell by the quality of their work. That gives me comfort.

    We all know that a roast cooked in a crockpot tastes much better than one cooked in a microwave.

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    1. Now that's a great analogy: crockpot and microwave. You are so right!

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  7. Did you get into my head and see my life? Holy cow. I've felt like this quite often so I can relate. Totally. It will happen one day. That's my motto. I love that first picture with the Star Wars Lego figures. Awesome.

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  8. I read another post today along the same lines.

    I've recently had the same revelation. I'm trying to make my family my #1 and #2 priority. The writing will come, but it shouldn't be the only reason for my existence.

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  9. Yes. For some awful reason I keep thinking that time is running out. But it's really not. Great post.

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  10. We each have our own pace and that's all right!
    Think I'll pass on the slug dinner though.

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  11. Yes! I think we all go through this at times. For me it's like once a week. LOL. But somehow, I manage to push through--probably because I have so many great writer friends to help me. :)

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  12. Oh man, I could have written this. It's true, getting neck-deep into writing and learning about publishing...it's so easy to forget real life. So true. Even now, I have to slap myself out of a writing mode to remember to LIVE.

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  13. Sometimes the words fly out of me in pages, sometimes I struggle for a few measly sentences. But on the bright side, sometimes I produce pages of garbage that will get chucked or re-written, and other times I produce a few sentences that just nail it. Quality over quantity, and always move forward, no matter the distance.

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  14. I LOVE this post!!!! YES, I feel like a slug trapped in glue, stuck in a spider web, with lead shoes on. Gah!

    Right now, I'm lucky to draft a few hundred new words a month. I think I need to put myself on a schedule. Ugh.

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  15. Oh, yes. I know you know how I'm feeling, but it's true. And I guess that's why so many people quit this business. It's tough, it's slow, and it's not for the faint of heart. But one thing is true: this writing community is fantastic! What a great group of supporters. And look how far you've come! You go, girl~ <3 ((hugs))

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  16. Inspiring! Perfect way to look at it too. Support is out there if you want it, and you can't judge your own progress by the apparent speed of others. :D

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  17. Snail stuck in glue? *raises hand*

    Yep, I feel the same way sometimes, and then other times I need to remind myself WHY I write. It's because I love it, and that should be reward enough. I'm already so thankful for my blessings, that anything else is just gravy. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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    1. You're welcome! You're right; that should be reward enough.

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  18. I think such an attitude shows a lot of growth. It's a tough world, this publishing business. We have so little control over publishing success. All you can do is give it your all and hope for the best. It can take a long time to get anywhere, so if you put life on hold while you're waiting for a dream, well...that's just it. Life can't be put on hold. So you can either embrace it or let it run over you. Sounds to me like you're learning to embrace it. I think you'll be much happier for it. And it makes me happy to see you finding your way--in your own way. It's taken me a long time to arrive at the same place.

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    1. Such an awesome and encouraging comment from a great lady. Thanks, Carolina!

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  19. I've totally felt like that before (and probably will again). I have to let life happen because it will if I let it or not. ;)

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  20. What amazing photo picks to go along with you post. I think many of us have felt like this at times.

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  21. Yes, reevaluating the writing life is important on a regular basis because it's easy to get stuck and think there's no way forward. Great post.

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  22. No one is measuring how fast or slow we move in our writing careers--I do admit that life must be worked into the equation. It goes crazy when you don't because it's not realist to NOT include it. It is a tough thing, even after being published. Thanks for sharing, girl! :D

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

    A to Z co-host
    #AtoZChallenge
    @AprilA2Z

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  23. Giving permission for life to happen, I love that. So very important for us to do, and so very easy to forget. Excellent post!

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  24. It's always great to evaluate writing on a daily basis. Great post!

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