As scientist and poet Piet Hein wrote:
Put up in a place where it’s easy to see
The cryptic admonishment T.T.T.
When you feel how depressingly slowly you climb,
It’s well to remember that Things Take Time.
I’ve had a banner week. In addition to all the good things that happened in the first part of the week, I’ve been offered a regular blogging spot on the website of Pet Product News International. The editor who offered it to me knows my work because I’ve written for PPNI’s print and online editions several times. I’m so delighted to have the chance to do this! I can blog about whatever I like, as long as it concerns the retail end of the pet trade. As my husband and I opened a pet store in 2005, I’m sure I’ll have no trouble at all finding things to blog about!
I’ve been talking and thinking about having a pet-related column for a couple of years now. I’ve felt like I was fumbling and blundering around in the dark, not knowing where to go with this or how to get where I wanted to be. Now I’m getting there. Piet Hein was right again. Things Take Time.
Something else that takes time is creativity. I’m a deadline-driven sort of person. I also believe that art is a pursuit which must be – well, pursued. You can’t just sit around and wait for the Muse to strike – you must practice your craft. There’s a difference, however, between keeping your skills honed and trying to force creativity. Sometimes it’s very hard for me to let the Muse work without standing over her shoulder and nagging, but that kind of behaviour is counter-productive. It’s left-brained stuff, and the Muse usually works in the office on the right side of the brain. It might be a good idea for me to have “T.T.T.” tattooed on the inside of my eyelids!
I’m taking this “things take time” approach on the two parts of my writing life. On the creative side, I take note of every good idea that strikes me for my rewrite of The Swan Harp, and trust that, in time, the right combination of ideas will arise. I try not to nag the Muse. On the business side, I’ve set myself a goal of one pitch every day for the next two months in the attempt to raise some corporate writing in my field. From what I’ve heard of others’ experience, this kind of thing, diligently practised, leads to work. I’m going to practise it while I still have money to cover the bills.
It’s been fourteen months since I embraced the writer’s life. Sometimes it’s felt more like clinging for dear life than an embrace. It’s been hard to believe in myself and my ability to make this work; even while I was talking a good game, I was often gnawing my fingernails or sweating out midnight panic attacks. I may be doing that again in the future. For now, I feel like I can definitely make it. It just took some time to get here.