I read an article recently that described openers and finishers. I had never really thought about it, though if I had to identify with one of the two, it would definitely be finisher.
An opener is someone with grand ideas, too many grand ideas. They get bogged down and jump back and forth between projects, never to finish one, or they allow themselves to become discouraged and quit before crossing the finish line.
A finisher as you may have already guessed, finishes what they start. They stick to one project at a time and move at a slow consistent pace until they have completed their work or met their goal.
I usually have two projects going at one time. The primary work in progress, and the secondary project, that I plan to continue as my next novel. This allows for a break when I just need to get away from my primary work, and it allows me to continue moving forward. If other great ideas jump into my head while I am working on these two projects, I simply jot them down, so I don’t forget. I can pick them up later.
When I read this article, I couldn’t help but think about ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’. The Hare was enthusiastic and fast, but he allowed distractions (other projects) to get in his way, and he looked for shortcuts to help him catch back up. Of course, we all know how that went.
The Tortoise on the other hand, stood at the starting line with one thing in mind, finishing the race. He didn’t try to take any shortcuts, which could result in inferior work. He was in for the long haul. He wasn’t giving up.
Since my adventure began, I have read numerous stories from well-known authors about their journeys to becoming published. The one common theme in all of their stories was perseverance. I’ve put so much time and effort into my craft, I can’t help but feel discouraged at times. It helps and encourages me to know that I am not alone but in great company.
If you have a high quality, marketable piece of work, persevere and you will eventually find an agent and get published. Kathryn Stockett wrote, ‘The Help’ over a five-year period of time, then had three and a half years’ worth of rejections-60 in all. It was agent number 61 who took her on. The book spent 100 weeks on the best seller list.
The agent that took the time to work with me, always ended her critique s with the phrase don’t give up.
We all know who won that race. Are you the Tortoise or the Hare?
Something to think about.