When we first braved family vacations, we bought a two-man tent and made the rounds of neighboring campgrounds. Eventually, the ground grew too hard for our backsides and we upgraded to cots. Then came motels at Disney. Finally, we broke down and purchased a time share with all the extras--a kitchen to cook our meals, a huge living room and tons of facilities on the grounds for use. All in a matter of six years.
I've written three books so far. Working on my fourth. During that time period, I've picked up several good books on the craft of writing fiction.
Know what I've figured out?
I've missed a few important stops along the way.
So that brings me to my next thought. What's my rush? Why aren't I taking my time to hone my skills so I can be confident my work is where it should be? Why do I think I can skip some steps?
Maybe because I think once I publish a book, it will validate me more as a writer?
Maybe because I think I'm getting older and I need to get it done sooner?
Maybe because it is expected?
Some of my fondest vacation memories took place in the woods, being bitten by the mosquitoes, camped out around a campfire toasting marshmallows. Good memories of a young family. The kind I cherish. The kind I can't go back to again but the kind that taught me more about my family than a day laying around a resort pool.
Writing my first book felt almost the same way. I wrote it with passion and with the knowledge that God wanted me to get that story out on paper.
Am I doing that with my current WIP?
What about you? Have you left the campground behind? Are you on a fast track to your future or are you cherishing the steps along the way?