The Journey

We made it

Last week I posted a picture of two crows flying. It would have been nice to simply take flight and head north; instead, my husband and I, along with our dog, were confined in a car as we traveled 1200+ miles from our winter home to our summer home. It wasn’t a completely smooth journey since we were pulling a small boat on a trailer that decided (with a little help from too many years in the elements) to breakdown two-thirds of the way to our destination. But all turned out well, due to a combination of pre-planning and good luck. (Thank you, Boat US and many thanks to the welder who not only fixed the trailer late at night but made it better.)

Looking back on the trip, I see some parallels to writing. (Don’t I always.) At some point in our lives writers decide to take the “I want to write a book” journey. Instead of maps, we read How-to books, blogs, and articles, attend conferences and workshops, take on-line classes, watch teaching videos, and join writers’ groups. Sometimes we make false starts and need to start over, but we learn and we progress. Our goal is to reach the big time: awards, best seller lists, name recognition.

For some writers, the road is smooth. They start out and reach their goals without hitting any potholes. For many others, myself included, we reach some of those goals, but not all, and there are many detours and potholes along the way. (We can’t always control the journey. Publishers stop publishing what we write, the genre we love goes out of favor, bookstores close, the economy tanks just when our book is released, and life gets in the way.)

Sometimes we need to find a new route to achieve our goals. It might be bumpier, and it may be unknown, but often we discover it’s a better route. We feel more in control.

And sometimes, for some writers, the journey is too long, too frustrating, and too time consuming. For some, slowing down and simply enjoying the journey is enough. For others, it’s time to try a new route. And for a few, it’s time to stop.

May the journey for each of you be a good one.

As you can see, it’s cold outside. We should have stayed south a little longer.

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Journey

  1. glad you made it home safe.

  2. Barbara Vortman says:

    Love the anthology. I embarked on the writing journey without a particular destination in mind. Much like on actual road trips, I loved seeing new sights, exploring new places (learning history and interesting quirks about each) and didn’t mind having to backtrack when I hit a dead end or got lost. But here’s the thing. In real life I don’t like crowded cities. I want to spend a little time there with someone else guiding me so I see the big sights without fumbling through on my own (which wastes time and money, tries my patience, and misses the mark.) Marketing is the confusing, sometimes frightening, city I tend to avoid. So the books I’ve loved laboring over remain unread!!

    • Maris Soule says:

      Barbara, I also hate trying to work my way through marketing. As for big cities, when I was younger, traveling to a big city never bothered me. Now, however, I feel as you do: Be my guide, and I’ll have a great time.

  3. Melissa Keir says:

    What a trip! Should put it in a story! 🙂 Glad you are home safe!

  4. Joe Novara says:

    For us writers, Maris, a broken tongue does not mean the end of the line. We can still let our fingers do the talking.

  5. Maris, what a trip; hubs, dog, boat and the kindness of a stranger. Thanks for all the goodies wrapped up in your story. My best always. In my younger day, our trips included a full boat with dogs, kids, and water skis. We traded a space at a resort in Wisconsin for the pleasure. Ah youth!

  6. Diane Burton says:

    Great analogy, Maris. Life is a journey, too. Sometimes, we need to stop and rethink the path we’re taking.

    I think you brought the warm air up here to us. Glad you got home safely.