Do It Anyway!

Wow, did it ever rain yesterday! It pounded down, flooding over the eavestroughs, creating instant puddles, pelting the house with so much force it sounded like hail.

Rainy Day

Even the small, seasonal creek that runs through the trees along one side of our property became an honest-to-goodness stream for a time.

Rainy Creek

It was a good day to hunker down… avoid the nasty weather and wait it out, protected by home and hearth. I didn’t expect anyone to venture out. Certainly not the birds. Wouldn’t the fat and furious raindrops pummel them… give them a headache or something… knock those tiny Hummingbirds off course?

But no, right on schedule they all arrived to fill their tummies and empty the feeders. Nothing was going to deter them from meeting their daily caloric requirements. “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”* No, wait… that’s the U.S. Postal Service’s motto! 

Rainy Birds

As writers, we can find all sorts of excuses to explain why the words aren’t accumulating on our pages. Maybe the heavy mood of a miserable day isn’t conducive to being creative. The Muse isn’t cooperating. There isn’t enough time left after the day job or family commitments. We’re just plain tired.

I’ve heard it said that those who want to write, will. Those who wish they could, won’t. All excuses aside, accumulating enough words to write a book requires a commitment to get the job done. As I plod along in my new story, I’m frequently frustrated that the words aren’t streaming out as they sometimes have in the past. I could let my lack of speed discourage me — mutter my way down to a standstill and go find something else to do — but, like these birds, I have a need to fulfill and that can only happen if I keep at it.

When there’s a job to do, we need to do it, no matter how we feel about it on any given day. “The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” Oops… that’s not the analogy I was looking for! I think “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is more appropriate.**

Then again, if you’re hungry like the birds but need some creative nourishment, maybe thinking of elephants isn’t a bad idea. After all, elephants wouldn’t let snow, or rain, or heat, or gloom of night (or a nasty downpour), stay them from the swift completion of their appointed rounds any more than the birds have. They’d keep plodding along, just as I am.

So, what’s keeping you from achieving your goals today?

* Herodotus, 503 B.C.
** Lao-tzu (604 BC – 531 BC)

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12 thoughts on “Do It Anyway!

  1. territiffany says:

    I’m on it. I always try to write from 1 o’clock until 4 o’clock. It really works that way.

  2. Laura Best says:

    “The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” I really like that analogy. 🙂 I’m working at my goal, gradually, and trying not to lose sight of what keeps me writing–the joy of playing with words and sentences. There have been times in the past when I only thought of the finished product, while that’s important, so is process. The joy needs to be there.

    • Carol says:

      If there’s no joy in the process you could begin to question the point of writing at all, couldn’t you, although I guess you’d have to be resigned to those times when a deadline might force you to the page.

  3. You always have a challenge for us to keep writing and sharpening our craft. I like that.

    Here’s my answer today: I’m having too much fun. I grab every minute available for writing and enjoy each one. As soon as I clean up the kitchen from cooking today’s meal, the writing will begin. Even fun takes a backseat to preparing and cleaning up after dinner. I’ll get to writing. I don’t forget it for very long. Blessings to you, Carol…

    • Carol says:

      I think I’m challenging myself as much as anyone, Carol Ann. It sounds like writing is sometimes a reward for getting through your dinner chores. LOL.

  4. This is a timely post for me, Carol. With so many demands on me these days, it’s easy for writing to drop to the bottom of the to-do list.

    One way I’ve learned to combat this tendency is to schedule my writing. Monday night and Wednesday are writing nights. Usually, I can knock out 2,000+ words.

    My goal is to get this up to 5,000 words per week. I need to get this book finished!

    • Carol says:

      I think many non-writers share the illusion that serious writers sit in their offices all day creating their stories. Most people have “real life” to contend with, regardless of their occupations or avocations. Scheduling in realistic writing times is a good plan.

  5. I recently put together a small notebook with articles, posts and other nuggets of wisdom I’ve collected which inspire me to write. Of course, taking the time to put together the notebook could be viewed as avoidance of actual writing…and I kind of think it was a time or two:) But I’ve used it several times to get me going lately. And the wisdom in your post, Carol, and of your commenters are going to join others in my writing inspiration notebook today!

    Finding the right time to write is a big one for me. I keep thinking if it doesn’t happen in the morning, it’s not going to happen. And I don’t know why I got into that rigid mindset. I like the suggestions of picking a couple evenings a week, or writing after a particular chore is done each day. Thanks for the encouragement, Carol.

    • Carol says:

      I think your inspiration notebook is a wonderful idea, Brooke, despite the time it took to make it. We all need periods of renewal and creative refuelling, and I’ll bet putting the notebook together provided an opportunity for that.

  6. helentisdale says:

    CAROL, I so enjoyed your article today, as I always do! But you and all the comments were so encouraging to me, however, I am not as professional as you all seem to be! I’m just a beginner, but a slowone about moving, so when you speak about excuses, I must receive that and move out of that place with some discipline. Thankyou.

    • Carol says:

      I’m glad today’s post was encouraging to you, Helen, but don’t put yourself down for being a beginner. In any endeavour we all begin somewhere. The important thing is *to begin* and keep going. 🙂

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