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Monday, January 11, 2010


Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
-Robert Collier

To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first.
-William Shakespeare

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Sometimes it sure feels like those small efforts aren't getting us anywhere, doesn't it? Or, that we're not just going at a slow and steady pace, but damn near standing still! Those times can be frustrating.

It's like when we were kids and we were traveling some place with our parents, and it felt like we'd been in the car forever. We ask of our weary parents again and again, "Are we there yet?" And again and again, the answer is a disheartening, "No".

About a year ago, I got this strong desire to write a romance novel. It started on a lark. I've mentioned here before about National Novel Writers Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. This is an online event that takes place every November, and the idea is to try to write a 50,000 word novel in the space of 30 days. My daughter, Caitlin, wanted to do it, and she talked me into doing it with her for moral support.

Well, I didn't write 50,000 words by the end of November. I did, however, write over 30,000 and came away with an idea for a romance novel that I love and really want to finish.

I've never written a novel before, romance or otherwise. So what qualifies me to write one now? Absolutely nothing, but the sheer desire and determination I have to do so.

I've had to learn and relearn a lot about writing and I'm finding the challenge to be quite fascinating and enjoyable. But, I do struggle at times with feeling like I'm really not getting anywhere.

When we look at a goal that seems so far out of reach, it's easy to lose sight of the steps we've already taken on our journey towards it. It feels like there's still so far to go, like we've been traveling forever, and we're just not getting anywhere. This is why we need to celebrate each step we take in the direction of our goal, no matter how small. Each one is bringing us closer and closer to our dream come true.

Looking at it as a whole, writing a novel is a daunting project. Writing ten pages seems a whole lot more doable. Writing just ten pages feels a very long way off from writing a 400 page novel. But, as we all know, ten pages on top of ten pages, on top of ten more pages will one day add up to 400 pages.

The key is in not getting discouraged and giving up. It's easier to keep going if we remember to celebrate all the steps we've already taken along the way. Soon enough, the distance we still have to go will be much shorter than the distance we've already gone.

Just like on those long road trips with Mom and Dad. Soon you start seeing those billboards announcing that your destination is getting near, and before you know it, you've arrived and the elation you feel is worth all the frustration and boredom you sometimes felt along the way.

Keep on keeping on. :o)

P.S. I'm not even worrying about what I'm going to do with the romance novel when I finish it. My only goal at the moment is FINISHING it. ;o)

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