Thursday, May 30, 2019

Post-From-the-Past, May Archives

May 2019
Where innocent bright-eyed daisies are
With blades of grass between,
Each daisy stands up like a star
Out of a sky of green.
--Christina Rossetti

The month of May certainly has sped by with projects and writing and celebrations: Mother's Day, Memorial Day, birthdays. Daisies herald the end of the school year, and doors are being flung wide open to all the summer adventures ahead. 

As I continue to reprint posts-from-the-past, my selection this month (before the month slides into the rearview mirror here shortly!) goes back a number of years to 2011. And while we marvel at the speed of the passing of time, the post itself speaks of lessons learned from that slow-moving sage, the turtle. Here it is, The Writer's Journey, From a Turtle's POV:


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Writer's Journey, From a Turtle's POV

"And the turtles, of course...all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be." --Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories

I would have seen it this morning on my walk anyway, but twice I was alerted to the little turtle's presence before I got that far. First, by my neighbor Pat, who was coming the other way. "There's a turtle in the road back there," she said. "I'm afraid it's going to get hit by a car." Then another neighbor drove by, slowed down, and told me the same thing. So I was ready. And there it was, moseying across the pavement, head held high, taking the journey one slow step at a time. It was certainly in a precarious situation.

"Come on, buddy," I said, "let's help get you across." And I moved the creature into the grass at the side of the road, marveling all the while at the striking pattern imprinted across the hard shell.

Then, as we writers are apt to do, I considered the turtle's journey--and compared it to the writer's life. You probably already know what's coming, another of those corny analogies. But here goes...

The Writer's Journey From a Turtle's POV
1. You gotta' stick your neck out if you're going to get anywhere.
2. Start. And keep going, one step at a time, no matter how slow the pace.
3. Don't stop in the middle of the road. If you do, you'll never get where you want to go.
4. Stay focused, patient and persistent. A little bit of luck wouldn't hurt either.
5. Let friends pick you up when you find yourself in a tough spot.
6. Remember your pattern is unique, and you add your own little bit of beauty to the world.
7. Catch your breath and rest, if need be, when you get to the other side--especially if you get shook up (think "querying process"!). Then move on to new adventures, the next story to write.

Do you feel like a turtle sometimes? What advice would you give a writer who's plodding along?


Back to the present now and looking ahead to a new summerish season, I hope to heed the turtle's advice and stay focused. Easier said than done. What I really want to do is go out and pick daisies! Trying to strike a balance. How about you?