Back when I was a kid, we were able to purchase small turtles as pets. Siegfriend and Gottfried were the first pair to join our household. I don't recall the reason why we gave them those names, but I suspect my grandma's love for the TV host, Arthur Gottfried, had something to do with at least one of them.
Playing with them and "racing" them on our slippery wood floors provided lots of fun times. Neither of them moved too fast, so they were evenly matched.
As an adult, one of my dog's favorite games involved chasing the rabbits on our property. Those animals gave her plenty of exercise.
This writing journey sometimes feels like a race. Starting off as a non-fiction writer, I landed a couple of writing assignments almost immediately. The rabbit in me thought, "Hmm, this writing thing is a piece of cake. I can relax and churn out devotionals and articles." Wrong. The rejections rolled in one after the other. Enter the tortoise, slow and deliberate, but always moving toward the finish line. I studied the craft, and my writing improved. More assignments came my way.
The entry into the wonderful world of fiction gave new meaning to the word, "slow." This race moves about as fast as the turtle pictured above. Every word written, every craft book read, every critique taken to heart brings me one step closer to my publication goal.
Patience. Whether it takes one year or ten years, I'm in this race for the long haul. How about you?
I'm glad that you're in for the long haul, Susan. You write so well, and it's only a matter of God's timing before you have more work than you know what to do with. Thanks for sharing your turtle memories. When I was a kid, I had several pet turtles, too. When we raced them, they never moved in a straight line--sort of like the writing journey.
Yay for the long haul! :D Yeah that sounds sort of sarcastic but truly I am glad I've been doing this writing thing so long and still sticking to it. The harder I persevere toward this one goal and the more I learn makes me a better writer and I believe that really will benefit me in the long run.
Hi Jean -
I forgot how the turtles zig-zag instead of going in a straight line. Great point!
That is a great goal. I'm pleased that you are sticking with it.
Remember the painted turtles at the dime stores? I heard that was cruel. It kept them from growing. Glad we don't do that anymore.
Yes, I think I am. Then my impatient gene flares up and says, "What are we waiting for??Let's get this party started!"
Waving and smiling,
Yup... long haul. It's definitely taking a while!
Hi Cindy -
I've been writing fiction for over five years. It's a lot harder than it looks. :)
We'll stick together and encourage each other.
Hi Nancy -
I do remember those, but didn't have any. After awhile, they stopped selling them because of health issues.
Hi Rhonda -
Yes, it's definitely a stop and go type journey. Wouldn't it be nice if we could set publishing cruise control?
Hi Kristen -
At least we have lots of writer friends to keep us company. :)
This is exactly how I feel. When I did nonfiction, I got published pretty quickly, THis fiction road is a long one but I'm hooked now and don't want to give up!
this post was one I needed to read. Sometimes it feels painfully slow...but I love the craft too much to ever stop...I'm in for the long haul...
Susan...what a great analogy to describe our writing endeavors. It certainly does feel like we're the tortoise in most instances. I can really relate to this post. Very enjoyable indeed! :)
Thanks for your article, Susan. I also had a pet turtle (named Myrtle) -- but the memory is painful. Nevertheless, the reminder to keep at it, whether the pace is that of a tortoise or a hare. Blessings to you.
Me too, I'm in it for the long haul! Glad to be sharing the journey with you.
BTW, my sister and I used to have turtles too. :)
Hi Terri -
Yeah, those characters and stories get under the skin, don't they? I can't imagine not writing fiction.
Hi Sarah -
Hang in there! I sometimes get discouraged, but I've decided to enjoy the journey.
Hi Dolores -
With the publishing industry moving at a crawl, I think every writer can relate. I'm glad we have each other for support and encouragement. :)
Hi Penny -
Myrtle the Turtle. I like the name, but I'm sorry the memory is painful.
Hi Karen -
LOL! I think most of the kids in our generation had a turtle or two in their menagerie. My mother viewed them as low-maintenance pets.
I've put too many years into this thing to give up now. At the moment I feel like if I work a little harder everything will pop open and my dreams of novel publication will happen. That could just be wishful thinking though!!
Besides, I can't give up. I'm hooked!
Hi Kristen -
Some of us thought the journey would be a trip around the block, but it turned into a cross-country tour. There are lots of detours, construction, potholes, and weather issues (publishing climate).
I guess we need to settle down and prepare ourselves for the long haul.
Settling down is the truth. I sometimes get so antsy. The Long Haul... away we go:)
Hi Kristen -
I know what you mean. That tortoise is speedy compared to the publishing industry.
Funny what a tortoise I am when it comes to things I find difficult or tedious; and what a hare I am when my creative juices are flowing (though sometimes in the wrong direction).
Patience. A good word for any day, any undertaking.
Hi Kathleen -
I tend to procrastinate when an unpleasant task appears on my To-Do List. Lately, I've been telling myself, "just do it!"
I like the way you look at this, Susan. It reminds me of some other advice I read recently about projects. My adapted version of it (which I have yet to follow in my own life ;-) is to keep a long-term project going, and at the same time to take on some quicker, less in-depth projects over that same time period. It sounds good to me!
Hi Becky -
This didn't start out as a strategy to help me stick with longer projects. I've always loved writing non-fiction. It comes to me as naturally as breathing.
When the series I'm writing swept me off my feet, the task seemed enormous (and still does). God used the smaller successes to keep me moving forward.
I pray you find your writing niche and enjoy every minute of it.
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