Sometimes I love the actual running and sometimes I hate it. But I hit the greenway this morning with a new motto: Be the turtle. (Stolen from someone quoted in Women's Running magazine, to which I subscribe more for motivation than anything else.)
Be the turtle. Slow and steady wins the race. And yes, I know the fable is about a tortoise, but I like the word 'turtle' better, and word sounds are everything in a mantra.
(me, this morning. Note the determination in my eyes. The firm set of the mouth. My eyes turn red around mile 2.)
Lo and behold, I ran all three miles without walk breaks. Never mind that my average time was a glacial 13-minutes per mile; I haven't run that far without walk breaks in months and months.
While I was out there, huffing along and chanting about turtles, it occured to me that I treat writing this way, too. I'm embarassed that I'm never one of those writers with three or four projects always in the works, brimming with ideas for 20 more books, writing a book in a few months, finishing in less than a year.
I wait for the one idea among tons of instantly-discarded half-formed ones that strikes me. I stew over it for a few weeks, start fleshing it out. Eventually I start writing and go until I'm finished, constantly editing and tweaking. This could take forever. Then I do more full edits until everything looks right.
I now interrupt this post for a special announcement to agents and editors: I promise I work well on deadlines, and if you were to give me a contract, I would transform into a writing hare and churn out as many novels as you want in a given timeline. Seriously. I promise.....please don't run away.
Back to our regularly scheduled post...
Typically, writing for me is a marathon and not a quick sprint. I plod along on one book and it takes a long time to get a first draft on paper. There's nothing on my side bar listing the WIPs I'm currently working on. That's because, sigh, there's only one at any given time.
Anybody else out there do the same thing? Or are you a fountain of creativity, with no less than three novels polished and ready for submission, with another four in the works? If so, how do you do it?