Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Swimming Through Mud

That's a picture of a painting of Robert Burns, the poet, on the left.  For anyone not familiar with him, think Auld Lang Syne.  He wrote the lyrics to that melancholy ditty we sing to say goodbye to the old year, as we welcome in the new.  He also wrote the poem To a Mouse.  It contains the (paraphrased) lines, The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry... (The original lines are below)

What do Robert Burns and swimming through mud have in common?  My weekend plans were to get the final scenes of a chapter finished, then move on to write a synopsis for a proposal to a new-to-me publishing line.  Instead, I spent Friday night and most of Saturday being sick, then most of Sunday glued to the keyboard finishing those scenes.  (11 pages worth)  By yesterday (Monday) my brain couldn't string three words together that made sense.  I did manage to write a page later last night, but it was like swimming through mud:  Difficult to move those arms and legs, and impossible to see where one is going.

Quite often, life doesn't go as planned, and the writing part of life is no different.  When that happens, we adjust and move forward.  Instead of beating myself up over writing only one crummy page, I decided to look at it as one page written, with more to follow.  I have no doubt that I'll do a lot of mud swimming in the future.  We all do, whether we're just stepping into the writing process or we've been at it for a while.  That's the writing ladder, with lots and lots of rungs.

It isn't easy, this writing life.  From the outside, it appears to be something many of us think will be easy.  This was brought home to me once again while reading Kristen Lamb's Blog this morning, because I missed reading it yesterday.  If you're a writer or even thinking about writing, but not following this blog, give it a read.  No matter where you are on that writing ladder, you can learn something or, if nothing else, be reminded of things.  Her blog yesterday, The Five Mistakes Killing Self-Published Authors is a must-read, especially for those who've convinced themselves that writing a book and slapping it up on Amazon will make them an instant success.  For the rest of us it's a timely reminder of just how hard a writer must work to experience any degree of success.  It isn't easy.  Nothing good ever is.

Thanks to Kristen for sharing the video below.  I'm borrowing it. :)  It made me think.  It made me sigh.  It made me laugh.  I do love those little bears!

Don't miss Kristen's previous blog posts!  Keep current on what's going on in the writing and publishing world.
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
~ Robert Burns

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