Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Judging a day's success

Stephanie here.

There's no way around itwriting a novel requires a huge amount of up-front investment. I just spent the last fourteen months brainstorming, researching, writing, editing, re-researching, rewriting, polishing, and agonizing over a young adult historical story that I love.

But that I have no guarantees will ever sell. For about half that time, I wasn't even sure my agent would like it.

Perhaps the amount of investment required in writing is why I find this quote of poet Robert Louis Stevenson's so endearing: "I consider the success of my day based on the seeds I sow, not the harvest I reap."

The harvest often feels very far away, and the only thing we can do is plant the best seeds possible.

What "seeds" are you sowing today?


  1. Today, my Things to Do list includes some more editing on Illusion, prepping my list of agents to query, and plotting more of my next WIP, Suspicions, which I hope to begin writing in June.

    Thanks for the quote, Mrs. Morrill! I find that most of the quotes y'all post can be applied not only to writing, but to everyday life. :)

  2. Love the quote! It's a reminder that (especially is writing) we need to have patience and perseverance.

  3. I like the quote! Today I'm aiming to plot out my climax. I have a good idea about my climatic moment, but the rest is really fuzzy.


  4. Great reminder, Stephanie! Thank you~

  5. Thank you so much for this. Perfect today. :)

    Today, I'm sowing seeds with my violin practice, actually, not writing. I've been slacking on it for way too long, and yesterday I set a rather ambitious goal--being ready to audition for an orchestra this fall. I love violin, but I hate playing songs that are far too easy for me in "head knowledge" (because I've played the piano long enough to know a lot about note reading and such already) but still a bit hard in the actual motion. But I have to sow the seeds. So today (and the next several months!) I'm sowing the seeds of the nitty-gritty work just to build up my muscular strength/comfort with the exercises and songs I really dislike. :)

    1. You play violin and piano? So do I! I've been playing the piano for about ten years and just started the violin this past February. :)

    2. Nice, Linea! I actually never had piano lessons, but we had a series of books that I worked through from about ages 8-11. I think I got to advanced beginner level. I've always been fascinated with violin, though, and I finally got to start around this time 2013. For some reason I didn't really hit it off too well, though, with the books we had--and it's mainly because they're designed to start from the very beginning (the concept of high and low sounds, finger numbers, etc...) which frustrated me. That and man, it's way harder to make a violin note than to hit a piano key! So it's been rather on and off since then, with long periods of "off." But I still really love the violin and what it can do, it's just a matter of convincing myself to plod through the parts that are easy and hard at the same time until I can actually get to "real songs." :)

      How do you like it? Did you have to start from the very beginning of music theory along with violin, too, or did you get to bypass that?

    3. I'm really enjoying violin. Because of my experience with piano, I didn't have to start at the very beginning and instead began at a sort of intermediate beginner. I agree--the notes on the violin are hard to find sometimes! ;)

    4. I don't have a teacher for violin, like piano (we're a very...self-taught family, and with so many kids, lessons for everyone would be impossible), so mainly my experience so far has consisted of "how much of this can I reasonably skip without being detrimental to my 'muscular comfort'?" *sigh*

  6. Fabulous quote! Right now, I'm investing in outlining, more specifically in mapping out the setting. It's not my favorite and not the most rewarding for me, but I'm holding tight for the story to come!