Good morning, Wipsters! Welcome to the third check-in for August! How’s your WIP progressing during these doggy days of summer? Panting along or all frisky?
As you know from my post last week, I just received a fresh batch of editorial notes, so my week was spent in planning mode. The highlight was a long chat with my editor where much brainstorming ensued, and still ensues as I plot out a new course for my book.
This is a business for folks with the long-term view. Sometimes it takes ages to sort out a plot. Sometimes a month to write a single scene. Sometimes years to land an agent. Sometimes decades between a dream and a deal. During all that time, we’re told to keep writing and keep learning. That’s great advice. The writers I’ve seen make it have put in tons of work toward mastering their craft.
But all this single-minded striving can have a downside, when the focus turns to obsession, and too much of our feelings of self-worth hinge on meeting that overarching publishing goal. That certainly happened to me, so much so that those around me could easily see how my quest was progressing by how morose I was.
So, in 2007, after three years of writing and a year of querying, I decided I needed a second outlet, something else I could try to master besides writing. For me, that turned out to be hula-hooping (or simply ‘hooping’ as the cool kids call it). I spent the summer teaching myself tricks I’d seen on YouTube, then bought a few videos, and eventually enrolled in a class at a local circus school. Although I’d never be graceful or talented enough to perform in public, the important thing was that I was having fun and furthermore making progress. Progress I could see! (which hasn’t always been the case with my writing.) Hooping also turned out to be a great stress reducer when the writing wasn’t going so well.
I think having a second hobby, one where you can witness tangible results, is a great antidote to the rejection-filled, hair-pulling angst we so often feel in the publishing biz. Mine sure helped me, and, who knows, there may be a hooper in one of my books someday.
How about you? Are you working toward mastery in any areas besides writing?
For this week’s giveaway, I’m offering a choice of either a copy of my favorite beginner hoopdance DVD or, if that’s not your cup of tea, a selection from the book collection I showed in my last post, minus whatever was chosen by last week’s winner, who is *drumroll*: Angelina Hansen!