We all know the story about the tortoise and the hare, right? There are many variations of the story but none is as widely known as Aesop’s fables.
I use to own a collection of Aesop’s fables when I was younger and I loved watching the Looney Tunes version with Bugs Bunny and Cecil Turtle…anyways I digress.
In the tortoise and the hare, the hare was boasting of his speed and gets challenged in a race by an unlikely contender, the tortoise. On the day of the race, the hare zips past the start line, becoming a tiny dot in the distance while the tortoise is plodding on still at the start line. So confident that he will win, the hare takes a nap. And still the tortoise is plodding on and on and on. By the time the hare wakes up from his little nap, he’s shocked to see that the tortoise is almost at the finish line. Desperate to win, he races as fast as he can but in the end loses to the tortoise that plodded his way straight to the finish.
Now why would I mention the story of the tortoise and the hare? Earlier this week I read a guest post on writersdigest.com by Charles Finch, author of the Charles Lenox Mysteries, titled 5 Differences Between Professional and Amateur Novelists. One of the five differences, mentioned was patience. It weighed on my mind and I wanted to share with you all, no matter what stage you’re at as a novelist.
How many hurried to finish your manuscript, hurried to edit it and hurried to get it published? I myself want to hurry and send my manuscript and begin my career as a published author. However, I’m still undergoing the polishing the manuscript and fleshing out more of my character’s psyche, and I’ve also added five more chapters. In a post last month, with confidence worthy of the hare, I made a goal to have a complete and polished manuscript by June.
Was I basely boasting or just confident in myself? It’s February and I’m three chapters behind where I planned to be because I’m just plodding along. Yet, the story I want to tell is slowly but surely coming together, with every sentence and every paragraph, plodding along with my writing every morning, in the afternoon and before bed. I probably won’t meet my goal in another five months but at the finish line there will be waiting a well written and gripping novel, a reader fan base, small or large and a tortoise giving his congratulations.
Which one are you, a tortoise or a hare?