Embracing my inner turtle

(No, not the ninja mutant kind, although that would be cool too.)

Wow, how is it July 2nd already? My self-imposed July 19th deadline for finishing the Twenty-Somewhere proposal suddenly looms so close… Eep!

Well, I will be in Houston this weekend, visiting my parents for the holiday. I haven’t decided whether I’m better off catching up on sleep, or maintaining my 6-hours-a-night schedule so that my body doesn’t get confused and feel tortured when I come back. I’m leaning towards less sleep and more writing, though, particularly given what I said above. (TWO WEEKS? WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?)

Forget about the ticking clock; the writing has been going well. (Hope that doesn’t jinx it…) While I still monitor my word counts and push myself to devote more hours to writing, I’m trying to trust my instincts about the process. I’ve realized that blazing ahead regardless of quality doesn’t work that well for me; I have to like what I’m producing in order to want to produce more of it. At the same time, I can’t (and don’t) expect perfection on the first go-round.

So it’s about finding the right balance between quantity and quality.

I have to admit, I felt reassured upon reading that Tuck Everlasting author Natalie Babbitt works in a similar fashion. (Big thanks to Erin for lending me the book! It was lovely.) Along those same lines, Juliet Marillier posted a nice reminder on Writer Unboxed that slow and steady wins the race.

Well, really she explained that slow and steady CAN win the race, just the same as the quick and unpredictable hare.

As y’all may have noticed, I spend a lot of time wishing I were a hare. This past week, I finally embraced my turtle side, and I’m happy with the results. I think what I’ve come to realize is that, while I do need to strive for improvement and growth (just like any person in any career should), I’m better off recognizing where I currently am, instead of focusing so single-mindedly on where I want to be. After all, how can you get from Point A to Point B without first acknowledging where Point A really is?

So to all you turtles out there, take heart! And all you hares, hop on! And everyone in between, well, you’re groovy too.

Like this:



Colorado (Day 3 of 4)


Colorado (Day 4 of 4)


  1. Les

    I’m a turtle allll the way. Sometimes you love it, sometimes you hate it… rarely if ever can you change it. I vote catch up on sleep ;)

  2. Being where you are is a good thing. After all, you can’t be anywhere else.

    At the same time, have a nice trip – both to your parents’ house and with your writing. :)

  3. I’m a turtle too. I suggest we both try to find the “happy medium.” lol :-)

  4. Sometimes it’s good to be that turtle. I think we have to embrace who we are, because it has such a strong impact on how – and what – we write. I do think it’s possible, and sometimes necessary, to sort of twist parts of our personalities along the way (I know for me, writing my most recent novel REALLY taught me about letting go and not pressuring myself so much), but we need to have that firm base to sorta jump off from. We have to do what’s right for us.

    Enjoy your holiday weekend … and your writing time!

  5. I love when we embrace those old fables and bring them to life through writing.. I always liked the turtle better anyway..


    Hannah Katy

  6. Les-
    Apparently my body voted with you. I was knocked out for 3 hours on the plane.

    Good point, and thanks! :)

    J.P. Cabit-
    Yep, that’s the goal! Good luck to us, hehehe.

    Absolutely. People are not static; by nature we are constantly changing and evolving and (hopefully) improving. But it doesn’t happen overnight, and that’s what I kept striving for. No more!

    Hannah Katy-
    Fables are the bestest. :)

  7. Can I be something in the middle? Like…a chipmunk?

    Anyway, good luck with your trip and your revisions. You can do it!

    – Liz

  8. Chipmunk? Lol. Sure. I’m aiming for the middle too, and chipmunks are pretty cute.

  9. Okay, you worded that perfectly about the writing. If what I’ve put on the page sucks, I don’t want to write more. So finding that balance is SO important!

  10. Jon

    Definitely a turtle here. Used to be a hare, now I take things so slowly I’m turning into a slug!

  11. Jon-
    LOL ruh roh. Well, I suppose as long as you don’t leave a trail of slime in your wake, the pace is still fine. :)

  12. You said it! I am always lamenting my lack of hare status! But, we are who we are right? Only we can figure out what works for us, you know?

  13. Exactamente!

  14. haha great post, love the comparison. used to think myself a turtle, but I’m getting faster. but I’ve learned there are parts you cannot rush no matter how you try: in writing, things need to percolate, and when they’re ready to dash again, they will. embracing your turtle side sounds like the way to go!

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