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?


  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!

  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!

  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...)

  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.)

  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.