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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Be a Butterfly

I received an email with a wonderful quote this week.
"How does one become a butterfly?" she asked.

"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."

~Tina Paulus~
This immediately made me think of writing, although clearly it applies to anything in life that we want to do. It all becomes a question of how badly do you want to do it. Change isn't easy for most people. It's much more comfortable to stay a caterpillar than it is to go through the difficult--and painful--metamorphosis to butterfly.

The reason it made me think of writing is because it takes a lot of dedication to actively seek publication. To make ourselves sit at the keyboard for hours and hours each week in order to get our stories down, to finish one, revise it, polish it, submit it and start the next story requires incredible passion and desire to write. It's so much easier to be a caterpillar.

And the desire to share stories with the world has to remain a passion even after that first sale. If I thought I was dedicated when I wrote Ravyn's Flight and the unpublished second book, I was wrong. In the nearly three years since then, I've learned what dedication really is.

You see, I want to be a butterfly. I want to share my stories and my heroes and heroines with the world. I want people to be touched in some small way by my characters and find them memorable. I want it badly enough to stay inside and work on the laptop even though Minnesota summers are so short and I'd rather be outside. I want it badly enough to push myself into mental and physical exhaustion to make my deadlines.

But I've learned something else. I need to remain balanced. My life can't be all writing and nothing except writing. I used to have all kinds of other interests--I need to rediscover some of them. Like scrapbooking or watching movies. I can't even remember what else I liked to do, but maybe I can discover new stuff. :-)

So that's my new quest--finding balance. After this current project is turned in and I have things finally unpacked and setup in my house, I'm going to explore. Archiver's, a store dedicated to scrapbooking, has some really cool one-day workshops. I'm going to sign up for some. I also want to find a class called Drawing for the Artisically Challenged. :-) I have a huge desire to sketch, but little ability. I decided that doesn't matter. I don't have to be good at art, I just have to have fun!

Before I sold RF, I did a one day workshop to build my own drum. I loved it! I can't make more because I have no place to put them and I really don't need more than one, but there must be other classes like that out there too. I'm going to see if I can't find some of them.

Of course, there's always the chance that I might find it easier to stay a caterpillar in this regard. I'm shy--very shy--interacting with strangers is difficult for me. And I can't take that much time away from writing because I have another book due at the beginning of January. I'm going to try, though. I'm going to try.