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.