Slow down even though you have a long way to go

I’m terribly impatient and lazy, a bad combo to have if you have an above average level of intelligence. I coasted through high school and college and graduated both in the top 10% of my class. In my final two years of college I got so good at finding classes that didn’t require effort from me that I was only an English major in name. My favorite class was one where we read NYT Bestsellers and writing a one page response to our daily reading (best summer ever). My mom brags that she never studied in school yet she was always ranked first in her class (Korean schools rank by test scores). My auntie (her best friend) testified to this because while my auntie would study, my mom would be playing with her cat and rolling around on the ground. ….I can see where I get it from.

Also, my mom won’t let me get a cat but she was allowed to have one?! (I’m allergic, but I WANT A CAT.)

So somewhere along the way I got it into my head that I wanted to be published so that I could share my stories with everyone. At first I don’t think I wanted it for the right reasons–I just wanted to be published for the glitz and glamour of it all. I furiously spent one summer finishing a book and then promptly gave up. It wasn’t going as fast as I’d like so I decided that getting a good job was more worth my time. That’s why I’m going to law school, but that’s another story.

In any case, I drifted away from writing and the dream faded.

I got older, graduated, and found a rut in my life that I liked and was comfortable in. I like the person that I am now even though there’s plenty of room for improvement. It’s a far cry from the awkward teenager that I was.

But one day I decided to start reading more. The book broke me. I don’t think I had ever been so affected by a book before and I wanted more. So I went back to old books I had enjoyed and forgotten–THEY WERE NOTHING LIKE I’D REMEMBERED. WERE THEY ALWAYS THIS AMAZING? And this made me think of stories, ideas, plots I could use.

I was older and wiser–maybe I could write again!

So began my addiction to different blogs. Reading them inspired me because I felt as if I had access to that hard struggle in their lives and I wasn’t alone in mine.

Then I thought back to that sad effort from that one summer. It was the only thing I had ever finished and it wasn’t done well at that. Every time I thought I wanted to give up on the current book, I thought about where I had come from. Just finishing isn’t enough and I’m not even there yet.

Everyday I learn something new. I’m improving my craft. I’m giddy with the leaps and bounds I have made in my writing. I’ve only learned this by slowing  down and realizing that there is more to this than just the book. Lately I’ve read a lot of books by people wanting desperately for publication and I didn’t enjoy them. They were missing something and didn’t move me like I think books should. I have to inject my book with my soul.

It’s hard.  But I want to get there.


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