In the game of life, I have found that I relate much more to the hare than the tortoise. I rise early each day ready to jump into life and get things done! In a way, getting tasks done is a part of my self-care. I feel my best when I feel that I’m being productive in some way, whether it’s at work, with my family or for my side projects. I am the busy bee, always going-going-going and doing-doing-doing.
And so, for me, writing is a practice in patience and dedicated effort over a long timeframe. I am confident in my willpower and discipline, I know that I can and will stick to a project and see it through to the end but it still tests me, especially when I know that many other writers are spending many hours per week on their works-in-progress and my writing plan has much less time on the schedule. I am going at a tortoises pace and it may be many months, maybe even years before I have a finished manuscript to share for editing. This is all according to my own plan as part of how I balance my work obligations with other aspects of my life, including my writing. Still, it can feel glacially slow at times and I have moments of wondering if I’ll ever have anything to publish and show after all this time.
It does help when I hear stories about how long it took some of my favorite authors to write their first book. Lately, I’ve found inspiration in Madeline Miller who took ten years to write Song of Achilles after many fits and starts. I also often think of Toni Morrison who published her first novel at age 39. According to Wikipedia, she would wake up every morning at 4am to write while raising two children alone. If she can do that, I can do this. It may take me many months but if I stick with it and don’t quit, I will finish eventually.
Occasionally, I do consider changing my pace, perhaps taking a sheet from Toni Morrison’s playbook and writing daily in the early hours before work or the late night after the kids are in bed and maybe one day I will.
But, for now, I #amwriting slowly but surely.