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The Tortoise

February 16, 2012

Sometimes writing can seem like such a long process. It is easy to get distracted from your goal, and get sidetracked by other things that promise a quicker payout.  I tend to get distracted from my writing easily, probably because I have such a busy, crazy life, like most people.  It is hard to stay focused on the long-term goal.  Today in the rare two hours I had to myself I read a story from Kristi Holl’s book Writers First Aid-Getting Organized, Getting Inspired, and Sticking to It, and I wanted to share part of it with you.  I do have to give you a bit of background on it first: she begins by talking about a bamboo stalk and when you plant the tiny shoot it does not grow much even though you water it diligently, and then after five years you can expect it to grow as much as 80 feet.  So after telling you that here is the part of the book I wanted to share with  you.  “The tortoise approach is often ultimately the most successful, but it can take so lo-o-o-ong to succeed that discouragement can set in.  Picture again that Chinese bamboo tree.  It is sending roots down for years before its sudden rapid upward growth.  If you are writing and studying diligently, you are putting down a writer’s roots.  It’s critical time, with little to show others for your efforts.  But if you look closely, you can see progress.  You may not be making many sales yet, but there is progress in your writing skills, your marketing skills, your networking.  You are building a solid base that will support future growth.  It will be comfortable, steady growth too; it will add to your life rather than disrupt it.  As one Chinese proverb says, “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”

Taking things slowly is okay.  Building a good writing base for your work is what you need to succeed in the long run.  There are some people who have overnight success, but that is the exception, not the norm.  Enjoy where you are right now in your writing career, and be excited about the future.  You will get there!

You can find more about Kristi Holl at her blog or at her website, and I will add links to my sidebar as well.  A little more about Kristi taken from her site: Kristi Holl is an award-winning author of 34 books for children, one nonfiction book for writers, and over 150 stories and articles for children and adults, as well as conference speaker and web editor. Her stories and articles have appeared in Jack and Jill, Child Life, Hi-Call, Your Life & Health, Touch, The Writer, Children’s Writer, and the SCBWI Bulletin, among others. She also wrote a mystery column and self-coaching column for the magazine Once Upon a Time.

Keep writing every day! Make it a habit.

Have a great week

Jodi~

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2012 10:17 pm

    I guess since I get to work at nap time only most days, I’d qualify as a tortoise. Thanks for reminding us it’s ok!

  2. February 17, 2012 4:00 am

    Thanks for sharing Kristi’s bamboo story! Wonderful analogy!!

  3. March 17, 2012 11:51 pm

    I love the bamboo analogy and it makes me feel better. I can’t believe how much my writing has improved over the past three years.

    • April 11, 2012 12:48 pm

      Kristi Holl has some really great books out on writing, they are very inspirational and keep you going on the right track!

  4. Angela permalink
    July 26, 2013 2:14 am

    Very helpful advice and just what I needed to read today. I am in the ‘baby bamboo shoot’ stage and progressing towards greater heights even if I don’t see it or feel it every day, or every month. :) Thanks for taking the time to write such a great post on your blog.

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