Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Enjoy the ride!

Excellent blog to launch the official opening of Title Magic, Trish. Geeze, how am I supposed to follow that one? Well, I guess I get to start the regular blog topic off.

Welcome everyone to Title Magic!! We are thrilled to launch this blog, as all of us finalists have gotten very close. This will be our new home on the net, and we invite everyone to stop by, sit back with drink, and enjoy your time with us – which brings me to the topic that's been sitting at the forefront of my mind.

I like to ride in the fast lane – and have the speeding tickets to show for it, lol. But riding in the fast lane also applies to several other aspects of my life, including writing.

When I have a story idea, it usually comes all at once. I find myself scrambling to crank out the pages to get the story onto paper. Since I’m only free on a handful of weekend, I devote those weekends to writing. Sometimes, I’ll write non-stop for a full 17-18 hours a day and get 75+ pages done that weekend. That’s my way of justifying not having time to do it during the weekdays. Just like with driving. I figure I can run a little late, step on the pedal, and still get there on time. It works, but only when there’s no traffic and I’m not being pulled over.

Same thing with my writing regime. It works, but only when the ideas keep coming and life/family doesn’t interfere.

But I’ve realized that if I woke up earlier, finished getting ready sooner, I’d actually have time to enjoy my commute to work – and save some money on those speeding tickets and my car insurance. I’m not on constant edge and endangering myself and those around me with my maniac driving. And I’m not accelerating the wear on my car. Sometimes, it’s not about the destination at the end, but the journey to get there.

While the way I write seems to work for me for the time being (I mean, I haven’t gotten any speeding tickets that I know of from it), it’s only a small part in this journey I’m taking. My destination? Well, it will change as my journey progresses. Landing an agent, getting published, earning enough to write full time, making the bestsellers list, earning my first six-figure deal (okay, so that’s a l-o-n-g stretch). But that’s why the destination isn’t as important to me. It’s all about how I got there – the friends I’ve made, the relationships built, lessons learned, knowledge gained, etc. Those are the things that you must make time for no matter how busy you are or hectic life seems.

Don’t rush to get there and miss out on the good things. If you persevere, you’ll get there when it’s your time. And if you do it right the first time, you might be able to avoid that speeding ticket, or hooking up with that bad agent, or missing that clause in your contract that binds your rights to them for life.

Since becoming an American Title finalist, I’ve been given one of the best advices I’ve ever received since starting my writer’s journey. This advice was given from some of the former American Title finalists and perfectly sums up my point of view on this crazy journey we call life:

Enjoy the ride.


Evonne said...

Hi Mai and Trish

Two great posts to start - and I'll raise a glass to the six figure deal. Whichever of the ten of us makes it first, it will be one heck of a party. (Never underestimate the power of positive thought!) I have to say that I'm really looking forward to Anna on Friday - I think I remember reading somewhere that it took her over twenty years to be an overnight sucess - if my memory is right then that is inspirational.

Trish Milburn said...

Great post, Mai, and I think you've hit on an important point. The road to getting published is filled with so much rejection and disappointment that we have to make time to enjoy the good aspects too and not just focus on how far away publication still seems. The absolute best part of being a writer trying to get published is making wonderful writer friends who are in the same boat. I wouldn't trade that for the world.

Yes, Evonne, Anna did take around 25 years to get published, though she did quit for awhile (and was miserable so came back to writing). But I'll let her give a more detailed story on Friday.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the ride! So important to remember, and a good time of year to be reminded! (Holiday stressss??? Who me???)

My best to all of you on this ride!


Savanna Kougar said...

Mai, well said about 'speeding' too fast through life, or on your journey through life. Love for others and demonstrating that love is far more important, and how I've tried to live since that lightbulb realization. However,I'm a gal who loves speed, whether in a car, on horseback -- hey, I'd go for a rocket ride if I could, which is one of the joys of writing, getting to write what you love, but isn't allowed, and the freedom of speed in our culture has been mostly eliminated unless you're a Nascar criver. Route 66 where are you?

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Well said, Mai. I think it's vital to enjoy the ride, not just on the road to publication but afterwards as well. Publication isn't the final goal, just a place along the path of the writing life.


Sandra Cox said...

Best of luck to you and Helen, Mai

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Absolutely enjoy the ride! You hit it spot on, Mai. While in the midst of a treasure hunt with my nieces and nephews, one of my nieces wasn't running from place to place with the frantic pace of the other children. When I asked why, she said, "Well, getting to to treasure is the fun part." From that day I've called her the little buddha for what she said was well beyond her five years--the journey is the fun part. It reminds me of a book from the 60's called "Be Here Now". Be in the moment and don't miss a bit of the ride. The treasure at the end is great, but don't miss the wild ride that takes you there! :)