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"Perfect" Timing

Was my last post really a month ago? Here we are nearing the end of April already, and spring rain is dripping relentlessly off the branches of our budding maple tree. I’m happy to see the maple finally opening to the spring. It's pace has seemed slow, given that so many things have budded and bloomed early this year, but my steady maple takes its own time—tree time—and won’t be hurried. I could learn from this. Timing matters in the book field—well, of course, in many if not most things, but I’ve got writing—and submitting—on my mind. How do we balance the risk of submitting too soon with the wisdom that “s/he who hesitates is lost?” Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book, BIG MAGIC, speaks about ideas looking for a place to settle…and how not picking up the challenge may mean your great idea heads to someone else. So, is my current manuscript ready? Critique groups or partners, beta readers, friends and family, can encourage or discourage, but ultimately, we (read “I”) have to decide if the current project is ready. Throw in being (1) a Libra (do we ever make up our minds?); (2) a perfectionist (who has, of course, never succeeded at being perfect); and (3) a procrastinator, one who has trouble letting go (maybe I’ll just research a little more…oh no, wait—I know. I’ll write a blog post) — and I can end up rejected before I begin. That’s how my friend, the late Nancy Warren Farrell, put it: “As long as that story stays in your drawer, it’s already been rejected—by you.” I think of Nancy when my courage falters. So now I’m thinking, the maple tree is finally opening to the spring—maybe it’s time for me, too.
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