I hope you are having a wonderful Friday, and unlike me, are 100% not under the weather. I’m going through my yearly “change of the seasons illness” where I literally go from having a sore throat to body aches to a snuffy then runny nose all within the course of a few days 🙁 So in honor of the fact that I don’t feel well enough to do much movement I wanted to discuss the importance of “getting on your bus”.
I was inspired to write this post by a post my father posted on his fitness/wellness blog for his company Bfit Solutions. The post is titled “Get On Your Bus” as is mine, so please check it out…he’s far more inspirational and wise than I am 🙂
The metaphor of a bus or any sort a vehicle that can take you to your destination is one of the most powerful and used metaphors out there. When approaching completely new phases in your life or even when wanting a slight change it is important to know where you are going. However knowing where you are going/want to go, especially in this digital age with even more distractions than before is not enough. In addition you must know what you need on your journey. But as my father always says “Pack Light”.
As a writer & reader I am always creating new things and traveling to new places, whether I actually leave my place of residence or not. Beginning a new story is like trying a new route to get somewhere. When I start all I have is a blank piece of paper, my first instinct is to “try it the old way” but that doesn’t always work. Sometimes for a new story, a new journey, we must be willing to take a different path. I’m a pantser by nature which means I write, I go with the flow, without thinking much at all but that doesn’t always work. Sometimes I have to plan, I need tons of paper, pens, highlighters, research book, and many more things…these are my materials, my bus fare, my fuel.
Then there comes a time when I might get stuck, maybe it was because I don’t know my characters well enough or because I planned too little or too much, regardless stuck I am. In order to get unstuck I sometimes need to take a break, not all journeys, all road trips, all destinations can be reached in one day, one week, one month, or even one year. Sometimes you have to take multiple routes, change buses to reach your destination. The best athletes know when to push themselves and when they need a break. My life as a writer is no different.
Then one day, it happens…I am no longer stuck. Now I am writing, I have finally figured out the bus routes, they’re memorized, second nature. I know not to let my gas get to empty before filling it up, I am prepared. I write and write and soon I am done. But the journey is not over. I must resist the temptation to send in my work, it’s that beginners happiness the feeling that everything is perfect I don’t need my map, I know the way. Wrong. If you’re not patient enough, you’ll submit too soon, you’ll tire yourself out, and you’ll get feedback that doesn’t truly represent what you’re capable of. The best things in life are always worth waiting & working for.
Don’t pester the bus driver, don’t become like a little kid constantly asking “Are we there yet?”
When you are there, you will know it.
So you’ll revise, you’ll pull out a book and read it (for every writer knows that the next best thing to writing is reading). You’ll sit quietly in the bus and read or you’ll crank up the radio in your car, humming or singing obnoxiously (like moi) as you drive along (wanting to punch that annoying GPS, whose voice is anything but soothing). Then, as if by magic, you’ll look up or see a sign and realize that you’ve made it. You are at your destination.
But don’t celebrate yet, just because you’ve finished writing or editing or revising a book doesn’t mean it’s over. You still have to catch the bus back or fill your car up with gas in order to get yourself back home. As a writer the journey is never over, we must constantly be able to adapt just as someone who rides the bus must when the routes change or the bus is delayed. We must be ever patient and know that improvement is something we must always strive for, for when the book is done we still have to find an agent, or prepare to self publish, and market our books. And even then, once we have reached the end of that journey, of that book, we begin again, a new story, a new day, a new journey awaits….Always & Forever.