(Photo provided by Ireland of the Welcomes)
Ah, Ireland. Look how green you are. The clear blue sky brightens the spring-green grass after a recent rain. Makes me want to jump right into one of those puddles. How about you?
Yet, while I allow my eyes to peruse over the picture, I wonder where that long and winding road will take me. It may be clear and sunny now, however if you’re familiar with the Emerald Isle, you’re aware of the reason why it’s so green. It could very well rain by the time I reach my destination.
The good news is I see a measure of shelter in the background. It’s always a good thing to have an alternative option should something divert our plans. Yet, in order for me to get there, it looks like I will have to dodge the many potholes and bumps on the road along the way.
That sounds like too much of a hassle, doesn’t it?
I mean, who of us wants to walk through a bunch of puddles and pebbles?
I know. Maybe I should take a short cut. Yes, that’s it. If I leap over the stone wall and cut off some time, I’d alleviate a lot of aggravation that comes with a long walk on a bumpy, winding road. After all, it would get me to the same destination in quicker fashion, right?
Well yes. And no.
By taking the short cut, I might arrive at my destination faster than taking the long road. Sure, that might work. I could hop over the fence, run like the wind and get there in record time. I’ll admit there could be a few hills and valleys. Then again, I may just be ahead of the curve. It could be a whole lot easier. At least it looks that way.
But looks can be deceiving.
What if I missed something along the way? Indeed, from the appearance of things, the scenery may look the same. Yet, by taking the short route, I very well may rob myself of vital knowledge and experience that would help me during the course of my journey. And by doing so, I could miss an important step that would have a bearing on my progress as I strive to reach my ultimate goal, which is at the end of the long and winding road.
Do you see the dilemma?
Life is like that. There are so many peaks and valleys, bumps and potholes; our path may not always be straight. And the longer we live, the worse it can get. Unless we take a more positive approach, that would require we learn from past experience, which may or may not include any short cuts during our journey.
This is also true with writing. In my case, I have chosen not to leap over the fence and take the shorter route. And not unlike that road above, my path has included every bump, pebble and pothole you can imagine. There are times when all I want to do is give up and cry. I feel like I’m in a foreign country and do not yet fully understand the language of its people. I, like Ireland, am an island, yet the only green we have in common exists behind my two ears.
Yes, it’s a long and winding road.
Nevertheless, I am determined not to give up, not to cave in when I hit the proverbial stone wall. I am going to stay on that long, winding road, keep jumping into puddles, and make a splash no matter how big or small. Because it’s the end goal that matters, not the bumps in my way while still on the road.
So what do you think? What has been your experience while on the Long and Winding Road? Does it ever get better? Or do you still struggle? What has helped you to keep your enthusiasm during your personal path to publication? Have any sage advice you’d like to bestow upon a newbie novelist? I’m all eyes and ears!
Cheers everyone! Thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
For me it’s about the journey and making the most of each day. I really try to focus on how I’m living now, rather than the end. I think I have too many control issues to worry about what life will be like at the end of the road. All I can do is my best right where I’m at and keep going. 🙂
Coleen Patrick recently posted..A Road Trip: Thirty-Four Sweet Hours
Hi Coleen! You have got a great attitude girl! But that comes across in everything you do; your photography and in your writing. What awesome advice. Live in the moment and do our best where we’re at now. And keep on going of course. Make each day count. Love it! Thanks my friend! 🙂
There’s a wise Australian cartoonist, Michael Leunig, who said in one of my favourite cartoons:
Keep on going. Just keep on with it.
Keep on going as far as you can.
That’s how you get there.
Alarna Rose Gray recently posted..Every Day is Stupid
Hey there Alarna! Those are certainly words that I can live by. Thank you so much for sharing! Always great to see you! 🙂
Since I am inherently endowed with a phenomenal sense of misdirection, I am truly all about the journey. The time invested holds rewards that can be had in no other way; every moment offers the chance for a new discovery…
This post gave me one…when it’s more than a spark, I’ll share it with you. I don’t know how long I’ll wander its cow path before it is, though…and that’s OK.
I don’t think of writing as the work. It’s my state of being. Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I’m a writer, engaged with my worlds.
May you find joy and wonder along that potholed and rutted road.
I’m off to dream about Vulcans and humans, and matters of the soul, while I let hot water fall on my head. And I certainly don’t want to take any shortcuts! =D
Shan Jeniah Burton recently posted..Story A Day May 22: “Late Supper”
Thank you Shan for sharing your journey. I appreciate your enthusiasm and curiosity for the path that you’ve taken. And I love your attitude towards the writing process. It’s contagious. Okay, I’m staying on the path!! 🙂
I’ve been working as a writer and editor for around 10 years now. I think the journey does get easier as you go. You’ll always encounter the unexpected and sometimes get off course and feel discouraged, but it does get easier. To use your hike metaphor, imagine that you’re a first-time hiker. Your shoes aren’t broken in yet. You might not have packed the right supplies. You’re still learning how to use your map and compass. The next hike you go on, your shoes have stopped giving you blisters, your endurance is growing, and you remembered to wear sunscreen so you don’t get a lobster-level burn. Each hike makes you more experienced, so that even when something crazy crosses your path or you slip into a pothole, you’re better able to deal with it.
Marcy Kennedy recently posted..A Crash Course in Thriller Sub-Genres
Hi Marcy! I love your analogy. Excellent example girl! Yep, you are so right. I am still breaking in my new shoes and learning how to use my map and compass. But I do feel lost some days. Yet, I trust you not to send me down the wrong path. So far, you’ve sent me in the right direction. I need to build my endurance and gain experience. I’ll get it. Patience. Yes, I need lots of patience. Thanks Marcy!! 🙂
I’ve been at this for 15 years, and still find things trying to derail me! All you can do is keep going (learning), and if one path no longer is leading you where you want to go, get on another! What you said about jumping the fence really struck me about publishing paths: people may thing self-pub looks easier since there’s no gate, but it’s not! Yet it can also be very rewarding. Good luck finding your path and staying on whichever one works for you!
Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Two More Stress Reduction Tips
Hi Jennette! Thanks for your input my friend. Yes, you hit the nail on the head. That was exactly what was meant by my illustration. Basically, nothing comes easy. And you would know writing for as long as you have. I am sticking on the path girl. I’ve met some awesome peeps along the way. And one of them is you! Thanks Jen! 🙂
Listening to Bonnie Raitt’s “Not Cause I Wanted To” as I read this and got kind of teary. No shortcuts for any of us, I guess. Just glad you’re keeping at it.
Julia recently posted..The NSA’s best excuse ever to play War Craft
*sniff* I love Bonnie Raitt! “I only did what I had to do. Not cause I wanted to.” Nope, no shortcuts my dear friend. Although sometimes I wish we could. lol. Yep, I’m keeping at it. And I hope you are too! Thanks Julia for sharing some Bonnie with me!!! 🙂
Long and winding roads are definitely the way to go. There’s always something interesting to see or do when you take your time and explore. You might get rained or snowed on, but that only helps you appreciate the straight stretches with lots of sunshine even more. There are no short cuts to writing a good book. Everyone has a different process and everyone’s journey is a little bit different. They all travel long and winding roads, but not the same long and winding road. My road might not lead to where you want to go and yours might not lead me to where I want to go. But rest assured, we all have a long row to hoe.
Keep on, keeping on, Karen and while you’re at it, take time to enjoy the view and the road. Learning the process is part of what builds the appreciation.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Patricia recently posted..Defining Rude and Other Redneck Behavior
Thank you so much Patricia! I appreciate your thoughts on the process and journey. And no, I don’t wish to take any short cuts. Although, I do like to learn from others even though my experience may be a little different. It helps to hear what others have gone through, their ups and downs and how they kept writing. It looks like I have my work cut out for me. Thanks as always for the encouragement and support!!! 🙂
Karen, for me it gets better when I’m focused on the work. Not all the other things we’re required to do as writers these days. The work is the joy. The rest (selling ourselves), is work. 😉
As I’m prone to let anything and everything keep me from working, I need to close my doors to the world sometimes.
In fact, I’m signing offline for a while right now to really focus on my story. I’ve been overtaken by ADD these days and it’s partly because of all the online activity I participate in. Blogs and workshops and social media, oh my!
I’ll come back to it eventually, once I’m really entrenched in the book and know my path, but right now I just need to hunker down and do some work on the work instead of the blog and FB and Twitter and…you get the point. Social media is fine as long as it’s not taking you away from the journey of your project. It is for me right now, so I’m saying buh-bye for a while to refocus. That’s just something I’ve learned I need to handle for myself. Too many voices in my head spoil my momentum and dissolve the passion for me sometimes.
I wish you the very best in your writing, Karen. The most useful advice I’ve ever been given is simple and obvious, but it bears repeating. Sit butt in chair and write. In the end, that’s the only advice, really. All the rest is moot if you don’t have that.
So I’m heeding my own advice here and I’m going to go get some joy. Good luck, Karen. I hope you find/have the joy too! 🙂
Kelly Byrne recently posted..Now THIS Is How To Pay It Forward
Wow Kelly, you seem to have your head on straight. You really get the process. And I can appreciate the time you’ve put into both the writing and the promotional part of the journey. I respect you so much for taking your own advice. That’s not always easy. There’s a lot to keep up with and social media can crowd out the time we need for our writing. May the force be with you Kelly! Don’t stay away too long. We’ll miss you!!! 🙂
We sometimes focus too much on destinations when the journey’s the thing. Every encounter is a portion of our fractal purpose, and understanding this allows appreciation for the vastness of the undertaking surrounding us.
Dale Amidei recently posted..The Joy of Text
What sage words of wisdom Dale. Yes, the journey is a vast undertaking and I do feel surrounded. But I’m trying to focus on the journey and enjoy the process along the way. Thank you so much! 🙂