How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Writers Who Run: The Tortoise and the Hare

Are you the tortoise or the hare and which is better? I think all of us are sometimes one and sometimes the other. Perhaps there's a middle ground? I like to think so.

Are you the tortoise or the hare? || overcoming writing fear | how to face your running fears | dealing with anxiety in your writing career | how to overcome anxiety for runners

THE "fearful" TORTOISE

In writing:

  • 10 revisions for one sentence
  • taking a YEAR of "letting it sit" before you submit
  • only writing two new mss (for picture books), or two chapters (for a novel) in a YEAR
You're taking a little TOO much time.

In running:
  • running once a week
  • not making any progress after 6 months
  • taking 3 months off just because it's winter
  • never entering a race b/c you're afraid you'll come in last, or like my first race, people will walk faster than your slow jog (for reals, people were passing me left and right in that cold and hilly 5k)
Get over it, girl! Step up the pace!

THE "anxious" HARE

In writing:
  • Hurry up and get published, even if it means bad illustrations.
  • Hurry up and submit, even if it means the story isn't ready.
  • Hurry up and get an agent. I'm worthless without one.
  • Hurry up and write the story, even though I haven't researched anything at all.
In running:
  • Hurry up and sign up for the 10k race, even though you've never ran a mile - ever.
  • Hurry up and get your 20+ miles in for the week, even if you're only injured a little bit.
  • Hurry up and do 2 extra speed drills for the week, even though you just did one this morning.
Yes, slow and steady always wins the race. But, really, there is a thing as being too slow. It's called inaction. I guess that would be speed zero. Too fast can cause injuries too. We really do want to submit, get an agent, and get published, but it does take time. So hurry up and do you're true homework. SWEAT. Crank out the words. Put in your miles - slow and steady - with the occasional speed workout of agent submissions. 

But when the time comes to slow down, KEEP MOVING. That's called being patient. Perseverance. Marathon runners have to pace themselves. You can't sprint a marathon. And you can't sprint publication for yourself. Your agent/editor/critique partners will be your coach. Listen to them. But never stop running and never stop writing. And if you're injured, pick yourself up and go slow, but don't stop. 

QUESTION: Where are YOU in the spectrum? What's holding you back and what moves you forward?

Live the dream and keep on keepin' on...

4 comments:

  1. I think I'm a Harey Tortoise. 8-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's hilarious! Rosi, I was checking on something the other day, and you were my very first follower by e-mail. You should get an award of some kind. So congratulations on receiving the "Happy Monday Award"! Thanks.

      Delete
  2. I don't think I am a fearful tortoise or an anxious hare, but I am definitely moving! Great analogy Christie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Romelle! We must keep moving. Maybe I'm a "hare-y" tortoise too.

      Delete

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