Monday, January 11, 2016

Walking (Part 1)

No dog ever wants to walk on a leash.  Imagine tethering a wolf and telling it to heel the first time you meet it.  Good luck with that.   One of the most useful ways to train a dog to walk on a leash is to introduce the lead slowly to a pup.  If you put a leash on a pup then pull it in tight next you and start barking orders, then the pup is going to stress out, feel your disappointment, and most likely start bucking like a wild horse.   A loose leash is usually the best place to start training a pup to have some walking manners.  Wrap the leash around you, walk backward slowly, and entice the pup to follow you with a treat and with no tension on the lead.   If your pup is food-motivated like Kassi is, then it won’t be long before your pup will ignore the leash and focus on you.  Heeling comes later.

Starting out as a writer is just as stressful as pup learning to heel.   What to write, how to get it published, what will readers think (oh, I hope grandma doesn’t read this), etc. can be very intimidating.  So can writing a novel.   It’s so long…  How do you keep your momentum and your enthusiasm?

I started out writing short stories.  The treat I was following was length. I was happy to finish a story so I could start another one.   I was intimidated by novels.  I wrote one story after another, learning and submitting as I went.  I did that for a couple of years until I was comfortable with what a story really was, and then I attempted to tackle the elephant in the room, the long feared novel.  I proceeded to eat it one bite at a time.  I wrote seven novels before the first one was published. 

Short stories might not be your thing.  Maybe the novel is your ultimate quest.  You can still make it simple.  Write page a day.  A year later, you’ll have a novel.  Don’t stress out and don’t make it so hard on yourself that you stop pursuing your dream.  And remember to give yourself a treat when you’ve accomplished your daily goal, even if that treat is the simple satisfaction for taking one more step closer to writing the best novel you can.   

No comments: