Jon Gibbs has some amazing links on his Interesting Posts About Writing this week. One of them is Confessions Of A Writer With A Book Deal by Natalie Whipple. Her post is a great reminder not to get into the “grass is always greener” mode of thinking.
Will it be nice when I land an agent and get a book deal? You bet it will. Will I celebrate? Absolutely. However, Natalie’s post reminded me that there is opposition in all things. Along with the wonderful things an agent/book deal will bring, there will be not so wonderful things. New pressures, new deadlines (self-imposed deadlines are nothing to the real beast from what I understand), and new worries.
The grass may be a bit greener on the other side of the fence when I first get there because it’s new and wonderful and beautiful to me. But after a while, I’ll start to notice that the green grass on the agented/published side has just as many dandelions (maybe more) as I had on the un-agented/unpublished side.
And dandelions love to multiply (no matter which side of the fence they grow on)! But they have their good uses too. In real life dandelions can be used for gall bladder, kidney, and urinary disorders; the juice from roots is used for diabetes; the greens are more nutrient rich than spinach . . . among other things. In our writing lives, dandelions are obstacles we have to overcome. These will make us (and our writing) stronger . . . IF WE LET THEM.
That’s the key. If we let the dandelions take over the grass, we’ll lose control. We have to choose how we react to them. Let them win and ruin the grass, or take charge and pull them out, use weed killer, whatever.
My personal choice will always be to fight back and rid my grass of as many as I can. That’s not to say I won’t have bad days when the dandelions multiply by five (or more), but I know those days are my choice (though I can make all the excuses in the world). If the pesky yellow flowers grow and spread, it won’t be the fault of the market, or the publishing houses, or the agents who reject me. No. It will be because I made a choice to let things get to me. I allowed the dandelions to grow instead of digging them out (much more satisfying—though time consuming—than the weed killer IMO).
So even though the grass seems to be greener on the other side, there will always be dandelions. Even if we can’t see them on the surface, they lurk beneath just waiting to come into the light. And it’s good to know we’re not alone. Other authors (such as Natalie) have noticed and are sharing their dandelion experiences with us.
Have a great weekend!