Baby Steps

We all have those moments, where we want something so bad we can almost taste it, feel it, or smell it. Whatever desire you may want now, it is always a long road to retrieving it. The question I always ask myself when I want something is, what am I doing to get closer to that goal or that item I want? Am I working twice as hard to get it, or am I simply looking for short cuts that will eventually get me to my ultimate goal?

I browsed through a few books the past year about authors trying to inspire and teach people how to write. A lot of the advice was great advice. The only problem is, these writers took the plunge and decided to write full time. Now, that is an awesome story, but we all can’t be those writers that get handed a fancy check and a deal that’ll send us to the promise land. No, no, no, these writers did not just one day say, “Yup, I’m going to be a writer and I’m going to be a bestseller by the end of the year.”

There’s a difference between hard work and short cuts. For instance, I was hiking up Stone Mountain with Nadine a few months ago and we decided that it wasn’t going to be that long of a hike up the mountain. We brought two bottles of water, but they were only half full. (Big Mistake!) We climbed halfway up the side of the mountain, and we were exhausted. Now, I haven’t climbed up Stone Mountain for a long time, but we reached almost the peak of the mountain when we had almost no energy left to push forward. At that moment, I couldn’t remember if there was water at the top of the mountain because if there wasn’t, we were going to have to take the lift back down the mountain. We actually thought about cutting our hike short and walking back down the mountain from where we were because we were so tired. We ended up sitting down and talking about it. We decided to take the chance and continue forward up the mountain and to our surprise, there was a small concession stand at the top.

Now, if we had decided to give up when the mountain was getting steep, rocky, and tough, we would’ve missed out on the reward at the top. Our walk back to the car would have been torture without quenching our thirsts and feeding our bellies. Now, the reward for our trek up the mountain may not have meant much for some people, but to us, it was like gold pouring from the bottles.

When I think about this experience in my life, I think of what it’s like as a writer. We sit down at our place of meditation. Our fingers cramp up and press through the words. Our mind eventually becomes exhausted at a certain point because writing is a tough task for a lot of people. Especially when there are distractions that invade your writing time like Facebook, twitter, a spouse, television, events, friends, and family. We all have different responsibilities that interfere with our writing, but do we let it bring us down or aggravate us? No, most of the time it doesn’t. That is why, baby steps are the key to creating a piece of work that holds value to its readers.

I heard a story once about a woman who wrote twenty-one books within a year. She had them all published and now, she is just reaping the benefits. Now, I have many questions about this story because I want to know how many pages the books are, how well written are they, and how is the character development? Did she take a few short cuts in her writing to the point where her points were lost?

Also, I talked to an author once who said they wrote for eight hours a day and wrote at least 10,000 words a day or more. In my opinion, this is an awesome feat. Someone writing 10,000 words a day is a tough task, but it was a lot of dedication on her part. She ended up quitting her job and wrote full time. This caused her to sit down and have to write everyday to be able to provide an income for her family. Now, she’s doing very well with her career and continues to write professionally. She didn’t take any short cuts cause she spends a lot of time on outlines to be able to create these worlds in her head. Her outline, just like with any other author, is the life of her story.

These are just two stories I’ve heard over the last year and they are wonderful stories. Now, my type of writing is in baby steps now. I use to attempt to write at least 6,000-10,000 words a day back in February, but I was burnt out when the next month rolled in. I actually took a week break and didn’t get much done after I hit a spot in the story where I was lost. I did everything the author suggestion: create an outline, keep notes of all of your characters’ descriptions, draw maps for your world, and keep writing. The last part I kind of ignored with the keep writing part because I didn’t know which way I was going with my story after I had stopped writing for a week. That’s why writing is a lifestyle.

I currently have brought my word counts down to 500-1,000 words a day. I promote my work occasionally on social media, but I’m finding myself writing more through my blog. I actually enjoy doing this and writing books. Maybe one day I can finally reap the award of becoming a New York Times Bestseller, but even if I don’t reach that goal, I can at least say I made a few people happy with my writing. That really is the ultimate goal to spread the secret to happiness and inspiration.

Happy Blogging!

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2 thoughts on “Baby Steps

  1. I’m glad you made it to the top of the mountain and didn’t give up. Anything accomplished by hard work is immensely satisfying, so much more so than by taking short cuts. And the finished product is always far superior. Good luck with your writing! I hope you make it to that bestseller list someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think 10,000 words a day actually is possible with enough discipline…a LOT of discipline. If I’m in the groove and have a good outline, I can average about 2000 words an hour. I get home around 4…so taking out an hour for dinner and showering, that gives me til 10 PM to complete my goal. If all went well. For someone who doesn’t have a day job, I could even see how that expectation moves from “possible” to “reasonable.”

    But, you know, I have a life to live too. It’s important not to forget that. Part of being a writer is meeting people, having experiences, seeing the world, living life, reading, learning…it’s not just about word count. Going out and doing stuff, like your hike, is even more valuable for your writing career than sitting in front of a computer for 5 hours and typing. I’ve been shooting for 2k a day lately, and I haven’t hit it once. I keep falling in the 500-1k range. But, you know, I’m writing. I’m reading. I’m researching the hell out of a lot of different avenues. I’d rather take a little bit longer to reach a lot of goals than to reach one goal quickly. The word count will get better with practice, too. It’s hard to flex muscles that aren’t used to being used.

    Liked by 1 person

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