It’s spring, it’s already too hot, the grass is looking dry and the weeds are flourishing, trying to turn temperate Minnesota into a jungle.
As I try to contain and remove plants that were deposited into our flower beds by the wind, birds as they do a fly over, or rhizomes crawling along the ground, I am amazed and impressed at the adaptability and tenacity of nature as it tries to do its thing: to spite our efforts, or in an attempt to contain us, I’m not sure. I just know I’m feeling as if I’m pulling the same weeds every time I manage to get to the ground and join the struggle.
Tenacity and adaptability helped me in my jobs as I rose from an entry level machine operator to positions of responsibility and leadership. I kept at the job and continued to try and get better, smarter and more efficient. I believe my past employers would tell you I was successful at that.
I used the same tenacity and adaptability when writing. I learned, I edited, I got better. I never gave up. I referred to writing as my retirement plan as I went to my computer and worked on it a little bit, or a lot, every day.
I had faith in myself, my dream and my writing. And at the right moment, I presented the right piece of work to the right publisher and I have a novel coming out, as I write this, in 7 days.
I was that weed that never gave up, kept coming back to the words, to the surface and the light no matter what the obstacle.
And the biggest obstacle was often me. Doubt, laziness, frustration. But I managed to keep at it, to keep writing, to keep challenging myself. I knew I had a good story. It came to me in a dream. Or more accurately, a nightmare.
I believed I would reach this point. I honestly never thought I would. The odds were too great. But here I am. I should probably buy a lottery ticket.
The point of all of this is, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it, keep getting better. It is difficult, it is scary, but in the end the effort is always worth it. Whatever you’re doing, it’s part of you. Potentially a large part, like writing is for me. So be the best you you can be. And keep getting better at being you. We’re all works in progress.