Finally, I’m a Turtle!

I’m proud to declare I’m finally a turtle.

This wasn’t always the case.

When I first started writing, I was a hare.

Anything could tear me away from my words. I’d see something bright and shiny and I’d be off like a flash, thinking I was missing the newest, greatest thing that would guarantee success.

“I gotta get that!”

“I gotta know that!”

“I gotta do that!”

I’d say one of the above about a new book on the craft of writing, a website or agent blog, or a new social media program, and I’d drop everything and pursue that newest latest greatest thing with a passion.

Just like the rabbit in the nursery story, I had great desire but little focus.

Then, I wrote more. Learned more. Wrote some more. And I buckled down. Got a little experience under my belt. Became focused, serious, and most of all, driven.

I finally turned into a turtle.

Now, I’m fully dedicated to my writing. I make slow, yet steady progress toward my goals. Sure, real life has a way of intruding, but I’ve learned balance.

Yep, I’m proud to say “I’m a turtle.”

How about you? How do you stay on track when your “real life” gets in the way?

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18 thoughts on “Finally, I’m a Turtle!

  1. Great post, Christi 🙂

    I’d have to agree that I started out the same way. I also battled a life-long hyper-active brain that by habit went off in seven different directions. As a young wife and mother I gave new meaning to multi-tasking. It didn’t help me when I decided to write. I had to learn to quiet my “noisy” head. Also, for a long time I allowed outside distractions, the opinions of others and my own self-doubt, keep me from being focused.

    No matter at what point we begin this journey, there is no short cut or magic bullet, no pill to swallow … just that old adage … hard work and persistence.

    I guess that means I finally became a turtle 🙂 Good for us.

  2. Same for me. I’ve started querying my first book, taking my time on the next, plodding faithfully down the path…hopefully the one that leads to being published!

    I loved your first line from the dark and stormy blog contest, btw. Following:)

  3. Florence,

    Greetings fellow turtle! I’m so glad this post made sense. I wondered if I’d been stuck in fairy-tale land for so long that I was relating everything in my life to a fable. The hazards of reading to my kids every night 🙂

    At first, I wished for a short cut to publication, but now that I’ve put in the word (and wow has it been a lot of work) getting my manuscript polished until it gleams I’m glad I took the hard road because I learned so much along the way.

    You’ll love Friday’s quotes…they relate to hard work and being ready for success.

    Love your line in the blogfest contest!

    Christi

  4. Kelly,

    I’ve been following (stalking) all the first line entries and when I came across yours I LOVED it! Seriously, I’ve got a list of my favorite ten entries and yours is at the top of the list.

    Best wishes and thanks for following my blog. I really appreciate it!

    Christi

  5. Ah, O Wise Turtle, I’m jealous.

    I’m a hare. Whether it’s my naturally-distracted nature, my teenager attention span, or the relatively short time I’ve been a “serious” writer, I haven’t yet mastered the art of slow and steady. One month I’ll write 40k, 50k words–and the next I write nothing. I have very little time to buckle down and write with my hectic schedule, and when I do I have ten tabs up and spend more time IMing than actually novelling.

    Another problem I have is committing to books. I’ll have a brilliant idea and start writing, burn myself out at 20,000 words, take a short break, and then I have so many errors I give up on it. Each time I tell myself that this one’s going to be different. This is going to be amazing. And it’s not.

    Which is why I have writing mentors such as you, from whom I’m learning how to take it slow and steady.

    • Slow and steady steps, dear hare 🙂

      I must confess, I’m still driven to “hare-like behavior” at times, but now I know that in the long run, being a turtle is what will lead to success.

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate hearing from you!

      Christi

  6. Somehow writing is what keeps me grounded in my otherwise hectic life. There are 5 of us, and each of us with multiple activites, and I’m the one in charge of getting us to most of them. Plus with a nursing, non sleeping baby, the writing is something of my very own. It’s where I go to replenish.

    • Oh, how I sympathize with you being the one making everyone else get to where they need to be.

      Our house consists of me, dear hubby, 5-year-old twins, puppy, and kitty. I call myself “The Head Chick in Charge of All Things”. because no one seems to be able to find anything, reach stuff they need, make plans, etc…

      But, it’s fun because I get to tell everyone what happens!

      (By the way, as I’ve typed your response I’ve been interuppted FOUR times by my twins. That’s why I write when the house is empty!)

      Best wishes on your baby sleeping through the night. My twins were premature with health issues and they didn’t sleep through the night until they were around nine months. I kind of don’t remember that part of my life since I was sooooooo sleep deprived 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

      Christi

  7. This post is perfect! Life still gets in my way, but my getting sidetracked has more to do with my lack of skill at juggling. Some weeks, I improve and get a little of everything I need to done (in writing and parenting and homemaking and teaching), some weeks I have to focus on only one thing and everything else gets put on hold. Someday I hope to master the art of balancing it all. Until then, I’ll write when I can! Best of luck to you! Thanks for finding our blog so we could find yours (and, um, for giving us a chance even though we’re Packer fans! I still like Brett, so for a while there I supported your team!) :0) Christy

    • Christy (nice name!)

      I actually GROANED when I saw all those Packer pictures!

      But, I lived in Green Bay for a bit right after college (I was the editor for WFRV’s 5pm, 5pm, and 10pm newscasts) so I do understand just how much that town, and that entire state, revolves their lives around the Packers. I can’t imagine what it must have been like during that last minute of the Superbowl!

      I’m the first to admit, I have a hard time juggling everything too. But, I learned that just because I don’t make 3000 words each day doesn’t make me a writing failure. As long as I get to my WIP, I’ve succeeded, even if it’s only 100 words. The point is that I got to it, and will come back the next day and hopefully do more.

      Christi

  8. Great post. It’s so easy to get distracted.

    Real life gets in my way sometimes, but for the most part, I can ignore everything around me — birthdays, Christmas, snowstorms, hurricanes, ringing phones — and write. I’m easier to distract when I’m stuck on something, a word, a scene, a topic. But when I’m ‘in the zone’, the house would have to fall around me to stop me . . . and that would be only after I finished my sentenece.

  9. Diane,

    Wow do I wish I had the ability to ignore my “hare-like” tendencies. I still get distracted by stuff, but I make it a point to come back to writing.

    I LOVE the image I got from your last sentence of your comment. That would make for a hilarious cartoon!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    Christi

  10. It’s not a race. I’ve read that so many times before. In writing, it’s about crafting the best story possible. I think we get so excited when we first start out that we forget to slow it down. But it makes all the difference!

  11. PK,

    I totally agree, it’s all about the story. But wow is it hard sometimes not to rush on through to get to the fun stuff 🙂

    Christi

  12. I aspire to turtle-dom. Currently I am zipping through life like a jackrabbit on a date. Mostly due to the goal of turning writing into a business. Every time I think I’ve solved a problem, another one jumps up. Now I just jump and run from one thing to the next. I need to learn to slow down some.

    • Sargent,

      I so identify with the zipping around and solving the next problem that comes along. I’d finish something in my WIP only to discover nine more problems that needed attention. Plot holes, helping verbs, passive sentence structure, etc…

      But, I’m always moving forward…slooooooowly, but forward 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Christi

  13. I still cannot stay consistent with writing and family. There are just too many waves in this little pool for me to stay afloat all of the time. I do the sink or swim method and I am still swimming. Dori – Just keep swimming! Yes, that little mantra pops into my head and helps me out. When I feel that the family is going to give me some distance from hospitals and doctors appointments, then I will be able to focus more on my writing.

    • Regina,

      I think sometimes you’ve just got to put it on hold and handle what needs to be handled. When I was pregnant with my twins I did nothing because there were problems, and then I gave birth to preemies that needed every single moment of my time. (They were so early that we were the “spokesbabies” for the March of Dimes that year.)

      I love Finding Nemo and Dori!

      Best wishes on getting back into the “writing ocean”.

      Christi

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