Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Writing Priorities

I don’t think anyone can tell you how to prioritize your life. After all, we all need different things and are at different points in our lives.
There was a time when I’d gladly put in 100 hours a week at my real job. There was a time when I was Room Parent, Cub Scout Den Leader, classroom writing workshop volunteer, stray dog fosterer and community activist (Yea! We got the new library built).
I believe it's important to write down your goals, so you have some idea where you're heading. But setting rigid benchmarks, on how to prioritize goals and the time necessary to achieve those goals just doesn’t work for me.
So now I have to come clean. My introductory sentences are just my personal rationalization for a failure.

Yes, last week I failed Katia Raina's Gimme 31 challenge.
Failure is such a harsh word. But if you could see me, you’d see a big smile on my face.
It's not because I'm loopy.
A few days ago I had to prioritize, and a family member’s illness was clearly more important than anything else on my to-do list. But here’s the part that is making me smile. After I “failed” I got back on board. Okay, so I won’t get in the prize drawing. But I joined the challenge to follow my dream. That’s the real “prize.”
Whatever happens on one day, doesn’t change my determination or my dream.
And not only am I back on board, but in the next days I more than made up for the day I missed. With laser-like focus I have been writing, revising, repeating.

Julie Hedlund’s 12x12 picture book group submitted query letters for critique by the amazing author, editor, reading advocate Emma Walton Hamilton yesterday, and I was ready! In a few days, the window will open for submissions to the incredible February agent, Stephen Fraser, via the same 12x12 group. And I’m ready!

Writing is hard work. I think Malcolm Gladwell might have been wrong in his book Outliers when he said that people who become extraordinarily accomplished in their fields have to put in about 10,000 hours at their craft. For writers, it may be even more. But that doesn’t discourage me. Uphill battles are just a little extra exercise. 
And I can use a little extra exercise to burn off the amazing chicken tangine I made last night. (Thank you NY Times Diner's Journal!)
Up, down. One, two. I’m off!


  1. Ooh that Chicken Tangine looks lovely! Good luck pitching. I'm not in that level but I don't want to pitch right now anyway. Sounds like your on a roll!

  2. Thanks for coming by, Catherine. Chicken was lovely, and Delicious!

  3. There's failing and there's failing. You have it exactly right. You only failed for a little while. Then you succeeded. Now success will start trending. Yay!

  4. BTW - my book came yesterday. I love it! Thanks!