Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hard Work

"I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox."
~ Woody Allen

Your Hippie Chick Name Is:

Skye, huh? Actually, I kind of like this name. And I'm looking for a new name for one of my heroines. Hmm. I'll have to think it over.

There’s a great article in this month’s Romance Writers Report about setting goals. Shelia Rabe writes,

“We don’t reach a goal simply by wiggling our noses or clicking our heels together and chanting ‘There’s no place like the top.’ We reach that goal by mapping out a strategy for achieving it. Here’s where many of us writers fall down, because it’s often so much easier to talk about what we want to achieve than to go about the business and rolling up our sleeves, digging in, and working through the stages required to get there.”

Hard work. Wow. Who knew?

That reminds me of the people who, after the New Year arrives, start taking pills or going on crash diets to lose the extra 30 pounds that holiday cookies and eggnog chunked on. Newsflash: the only thing that works is exercise and cutting calories. Hard work. Discipline. Believe me, I know. But why are we so loath to commit ourselves to it? Is it because our society has turned into a place where you can have just about anything--microwavable food, $$ from the ATM, a downloaded song, answers to your kid’s research on koala bears, the weather report in China--in just a few minutes?

Anyone else think that we (and especially our children, raised in this amazing and sometimes frightening era of technology) are losing the ability to sustain effort over a long period of time? Have we forgotten how hard “work” really is--and how good it can feel when it pays off? Has the term become relative? Or does it not even matter, when everything is so easy to get?

Except a story. A well-developed, complex story with characters who are so real they make you cry and a plot that weaves together in just the right ways. I guess that’s why writers--published or not--deserve praise for committing themselves to a goal that at times seems unreachable. It’s work. Hard work.

What about you? Do you have a tough time committing to goals? Have you found a way to break down the big ones into smaller ones that you can manage? And what’s the last thing you accomplished that required really hard work? Better yet, how did you feel (and how did you reward yourself) when you came to the end and saw what you had done?

1 comment:

Judy said...

What a great post, Allie... and it was just what I needed to hear today. I wish it was as easy as wiggling my nose or clicking my heels. I worked on edits for A God-given Husband (btw, I HATE that title) last night and gave myself a headache. And, the computer didn't cooperate.. it froze Word. Sigh. So... what did I do? Started a new WIP, of course!!!