Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 181, June 30

I have always appreciated the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare sprinted ahead, confident of his abilities to win the race with little effort. Meanwhile, the tortoise made slow but steady progress. In the end, of course, the tortoise won the race.
This story is a metaphor for life. I have friends who are amazingly talented in their writing. They write quickly, send out a "partial," which is a synopsis and three chapters. When they receive a call from an editor to submit the whole manuscript, they promise themselves they will write two pages, five pages, etc. a day and submit it in a timely fashion. Too many never send in the complete book. Like the hare, they waste that opportunity and ability.
I have never been a hare. I move slowly. I can't run. Neither can I write in sprints. I accept this about myself and try to work with what I have. Deliberate, measured steps are my style. When writers get together and talk about plotting, I have to confess that I am not a plotter but a plodder. I plod along, finishing my books on my own schedule.
Those of you who are gardeners understand the necessary steps to reaping a good harvest. Preparing the soil. Planting. Watering. Weeding. Tending. These cannot be rushed; neither can they be done in a marathon of activity. Twelve hours in one day will not make up for twelve days of neglect.
So, for today, I am grateful for lessons from a tortoise.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you about the lessons from tortoises, Jane, but I had to laugh when I started reading your blog. If you saw last night's news, one of the items was the delay of flights from New York's Kennedy airport thanks to a number of very slow moving turtles that decided to cross the runway. How appropriate that you wrote about tortoises today!