Fifteen years with a gravel driveway conditioned us to get use to certain things. Like circles of reddened fir needles that collected under evergreen trees and were impossible to rake out of the rocks. Weeds and moss that regularly snuck in and took hold, even though we all know gravel is not a good growing medium. Holes in the housing of the snowblower from flinging pebbles along with the snow.
This is what our driveway looked like Wednesday morning.
This is what it looked like Thursday evening.
Yes, I’m smiling. Having a paved driveway was only a faint dream, but by doing our bit, plus receiving some help from a good friend in the business, and putting the job into the hands of a team of knowledgeable workers and their equipment, the dream has become a reality. Not without a lot of work, of course.
Over these past two days as I watched and photographed the twelve workers, five pieces of heavy equipment, two truck loads of gravel and three more of asphalt, it occurred to me this wasn’t unlike the process of writing for publication.
1. Doing the groundwork. ~ Making preparation for our writing. Trying out ideas.
2. Setting out the material. ~ Doing the research and determining what’s needed.
3. Assembling the equipment we’ll need. ~ Plotting, planning, finding a pen and preparing to write.
4. Getting started on the real work. ~ Beginning the first chapter!
5. Persevering even when the task is long and tiring. ~ Um, yes… what I just said.
6. Adjusting and redistributing the material. ~ Revising and editing.
7. Inspecting and working on cohesion. ~ Reading the manuscript to critique for weak spots and inconsistency.
8. Compacting and smoothing the material. ~ Polishing words until they shine!
9. Paying the bills. ~ Yes, there are dues to pay in the publishing industry, too. Learning the craft, building a platform, querying, etc.
Fifteen years is a long time to wait for a dream driveway. It’s a long time to wait for a publishing dream to materialize, too. Neither just “happens” because we wish it would. But when I watch the grandchildren run their scooters down the driveway next time they come to visit, and when one day I hold my own published book, I’m going to be smiling again, because that planning, work, perseverance and payment are going to be so worth it!
Are you actively working through the necessary steps to make your writing dreams a reality? What stage have you reached to date?
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