Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Things On My Desk: A Retrospective

Over the years I've kept fun objects on my desk to remind me to stay on track with my writing goals. When I first started submitting my work, these guys reminded me not to fear rejection:

Eventually, I learned not to feel "chicken" about submitting. As I got busier and took on the job of planning conferences and workshops for SCBWI, a friend wished me luck in keeping "all the monkeys off my back." So I couldn't resist:

I'm pretty good at staying organized now. Collecting rejection letters, working many, many hours--with little acknowledgment--toward publication inspired me to collect turtles. Slow and steady wins the race, I told myself.

Recently I discovered a quote from Martha Beck in Finding Your Own North Star:
"Turtles have everything a writer needs: tough shells to deal with criticism, soft, sensitive insides, the need to stick their necks out if they want to move forward; and the slow-and-steady patience to keep slogging away, day after day."

Exactly! I still collect turtles. But I may be getting carried away:

Technically, Sunny and Sandy (not pictured) are my daughter's pets, but I can't help loving these sweet little tortoises. Slow and steady wins the race--oh, and eat your veggies.

So now I'm a published author. And I've got this guy sitting on my desk. He's a green-eyed sock monster (From Othello: O, beware, my lord of Jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster that doth mock the meat it feeds on).
Turns out I'm 100% human (and I do sometimes feel jealous). So I've put this cutie in charge of worrying about Amazon rankings, book reviews, other people's big book deals, etc., etc., so I can focus on what I love best: writing.

I can't even imagine what I'll want to put on my desk next... So do you keep anything around to keep you on track or provide inspiration?


5 comments:

  1. That's great. I'm most definitely in turtle mode, or trying to be. LOVE the green-eyed monster too! Now if I could just collect some "butt in chair" at my desk!

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  2. I figured out how to collect the "butt" part, LOL, but yay keeping it in the chair is the tricky part, isn't it. Hope you have a great writing year, Jody!

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  3. I love the turtle philosophy! I feel pretty good about being represented by such a stoic and misunderstood creature. (I found a dead frog on my driveway yesterday afternoon...I'm not sure how I should feel about that, but I did get a rejection yesterday...maybe the agent is a mirror of the frog...I hope she didn't end up with a detached hind leg as did the poor soul in front of my house...)

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  4. I have two tiny, colorful, bobble-headed dragons from a trip to Mexico a few years ago. They remind me to embrace whimsy. I also have a giant wooden Esc key (the keyboard key, get it?) on my desk, for when I just need to punch something and escape! And action figures of Legolas, Jack Sparrow, and Will Turner remind me to be fearless! (Yeah, that's why I have them. Honest.)

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  5. I remember when you were talking about the turtles at our book club and I LOVED that you collected those to remind you. I have the one you gave me sitting on my bookshelf in view of my computer.
    What a fun collection of all your cute helpers.

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