This month's prompt has caused me quite a bit of reflection. "What 'small step' in your writing life turned out to be a giant leap?" I suppose I could tell about the time I sent my very first query. Or I could talk about the time, years later, when I sent out 120 queries, determined to get some kind of result. Or I could go even farther back to the very first time I actually let someone read something I'd written. That was a huge breakthrough for me.
As I reflect on my more than thirty years of writing, I see a definite progression, but most of the time it has been a methodical plodding rather than a giant leap. It has been a matter of just putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what.
Not very glamorous, I'll admit. But perhaps the tenacity that kept me writing for more than sixteen years without sharing, served me when it came to the next season of rejection. I won't retell the story, since I've shared it here before, but I put that same philosophy into practice for another seven plus years as I continued to write, submit, and get rejected.
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other...
In fact, I've had to remind myself of this motto post-publication as well. I had no idea that the demands of marketing and promoting one's own work would be so rigorous. I had no idea how I was going to fit this new dimension into an already busy life. I'll admit there have been times when I've overestimated my own stamina. (a.k.a I've bitten off more than I can chew...)
But even then, continuing to just move forward, however slowly or awkwardly, has gotten me through each challenge. I know a whole lot more about formatting and social networking and website building and... you name it, than I ever would have dreamt when I started on this journey.
I had to remind myself of this just the other day as I was struggling with some new software. (I am in the process of rebuilding my author website.) I couldn't get it to work properly and I couldn't seem to figure out why and I was getting really frustrated because the whole point is to make my website look PROFESSIONAL...
And then I stopped and gave myself a little talking to. As I look back over the last five, ten, or even thirty years, I didn't learn everything overnight. Learning and growing takes time. Rather than getting overwhelmed, I need to remember that and just keep moving forward.
(By the way, I figured out the glitch. It took me two entire days, but once I did, it was SO SIMPLE! Go figure!)
Tracy Krauss writes from her home in Tumbler Ridge, BC. Visit her brand new, although still under construction, website for more details. tracykrauss.com