Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sailing Around My World

Julie Coulter Bellon over at Six LDS Writers and a Frog spoke today about how sometimes the inspiration hits and as badly as we want to write, life just won't give us time to write it down. I feel like that's been the story of my life for the last six months. Ever since I had surgery back at the end of March I've really struggled to find the time and energy to do any of the writing things that are so important to me. Today has been another one of those days.

After such a successful editing day yesterday, I yearned to have repeat success, but it wasn't meant to be. I've done what I can, despite work, doctor appointments, soccer practice, disobedient children, and all the homework woes, but the little I've done seems so measly when standing next to yesterday's success.

Why is that? Why are we never happy unless we've topped our previous success? Julie Wright and James Dashner have talked about it, how we always want more. First the goal is to get a book written, and we do it. Then it doesn't seem enough, so we try to get it published. Sometimes we do. Then it's wanting a New York Times Bestseller, and then a Newbery - when does it end? Why can't having written the book be a stand alone success in and of itself? Why can't eighty pages be celebrated as loudly as a hundred and sixty-six?

I posted a quote previously that seems rather appropriate today, so I'm going to post it again in the body of the blog, as I've been thinking about it a lot today. It says:

"Success is a finished book, a stack of pages each of which is filled with words. If you reach that point, you have won a victory over yourself no less impressive than sailing single-handed around the world." - Tom Clancy

Let's think about that for a second. How many people say they want to write a book and never get past the first few chapters? How many people in this world actually FINISH the books they start, let alone go back and edit, and re-edit them? So, I say, let's celebrate every chapter written or edited. Let's celebrate every line of gorgeous prose and touching dialogue. Let's celebrate each and every word that's poured from our hearts and souls, every paragraph we've tortured ourselves over, and the poems we've discovered in the shower or on the road.

For today, just for today, I want it to not only be okay to have edited eighty pages, I want it to be AWESOME! What a success! I sailed single-handed around the world of my book, and today I went back for a visit. How cool is that?

Quote of the Day: "Never give up! Never Surrender!" - From Galaxy Quest, the movie


Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I loved this post. It was beautiful. And you know, besides the "little" you did this day, you also wrote this wonderful, inspiring, comfort-giving blog. Thank-you so much.

Karlene said...

Great thoughts! Inspiring.

~paulette said...

hey karen
i hope you don't mind that i printed off your entire post today and tucked it into my binder that i keep my MS in. Thankyou for your words... it's amazing what simple letters on a page can do for another discouraged soul. I second what ronda said... thank you.

Karen Hoover said...

Ronda - You're so welcome, and thank you for letting me know I did something good today. I needed to know that my words helped somebody other than myself.

Karlene- Wow, thanks!

Paulette - Of course I don't mind! What an honor to sit beside your manuscript. I'm glad whatever I said helped in some small way. Writing it gave me a kick in the pants too.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I am happy dancing over your post from Wednesday (I've never edited that many pages in one sitting. You rock!) and I'm agreeing with this post -- every page should be celebrated. Every single page.

Anonymous said...

"Then it's wanting a New York Times Bestseller, and then a Newbery - when does it end?"

Well, I used to think it would end for me with the Pulitzer, but now I'm thinking it needs to be the Nobel!

*big grin!*