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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lessons from a teacup

Okay, so my teacup doesn't look exactly like this one, but it does have the Evil Queen from Snow White on it and it is over-sized.

I was pondering, as I was walking with my teacup this morning from class to class, the lesson there was to be learned from a humble little drinking device.

It's all about finding your balance, your groove.

For example:

If you walk too fast with a cup of hot tea whilst you are pulling your StoryQueen bag/backpack with one hand and balancing tea and laptop with the other, the tea spills (hopefully not over the laptop if the case isn't zipped, which it never is.)

If you walk too slow, well then the tea gets cold before you even get to drink it.

What does this have to do with writing?

For me, if I try to write too fast (as in trying to get too many words in a day), I end up with a bunch of stuff strewn all over my laptop that I really don't want.

If I write too slowly, (as in too many days between work sessions), then the idea grows cold and becomes undrinkable.

The secret, grasshopper, is balance. The secret is walking/writing as quickly as you can without spilling or growing cold.

Secret of happy writing = balance.

And now for something completely different:

Solvang Sherrie is posting an interview with HRH (me) on Wednesday, February 17th. At least I think she click on the link and take a look. (If it's Wednesday, of course.)

Thank you, Sherrie!



Jenn Johansson said...

Great post! Balance is crucial in my writing process as well.

MG Higgins said...

Oh, man, call me slow but I just figured out what hrh stands for. Sheesh.

Yes, balance is important! And my tea is mighty cold lately.

Hardygirl said...

Yes! That balance is a tricky little thing. At least you can always clean up your mess (I mean, unless it's so bad that you actually short out your laptop!)

Myrna Foster said...

I agree with the balance thing 100%. I love the cup! And I will check out the interview.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. It's amazing how you took walking with your hands full and a cup of hot tea and turned into a really great point about writing balance. I am awed. :-)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh, Wise Queen, how you've helped me today. "writing without spilling or growing cold" I've done them both and will seek balance as I journey on.

Dawn Simon said...

I love your posts! I totally agree with the teacup theory. I sometimes have to remind myself: balance, balance...

You and Sherrie together--that will be awesome!

Corey Schwartz said...

Love the analogy!

Solvang Sherrie said...

The interview is up, your highness :)
And I love the analogy here -- of course, balance has always been an issue for me!

Carrie Harris said...

I agree. I also think that a Snow White laptop would be cool. To go along with your theme.

Yeah, I'm stretching. But I really DO think it would be kewl.

Susan R. Mills said...

Balance is so important. I love this post. And, I already read your interview with Sherrie. I enjoyed it.

Elana Johnson said...

Okay, first, I love that you just called me a grasshopper. LOVE THAT. I might blog about that next week. I'll give you the street creds, don't worry.

Second, I love this analogy! It's so true. :)

Kelly H-Y said...

Perfect advice! LOVED your interview with Sherrie!

storyqueen said...

Jenn-Crucial as it is, it's something I still need to work at....lots.

MG-hrh stands for "her royal hiney" if you ask my kids.

SF-so far, the laptop has survived all of my attempts to drown it. But I need to back up sooooooon.

Myrna-My actual cup is even a little cooler..if it's at all possible.

Shannon-Don't you find that you're discovering how everything applies to writing all the time? I guess my brain is just stuck on writing....

Tricia-No writing today for idea growing cold :(

Dawn-Yep...Shelley and Sherrie, a difference of only a few letters, but both chock full of fun! burnt hand wishes I'd find another analogy and stop reliving the same one day after day.

Sherrie-Thank you! I think you did a great job putting it all together!

Carrie-Keep would be toooooooo kewl!

Susan-Thank you for reading the interview!

Elana-(Shhhhh, don't tell anyone, but I totally ripped off the grasshopper bit from Kung Fu...Shhhhhhhh!)

Kelly-Thank you, sweetie!

Lisa and Laura said...

This is so wise. Tea and writing are two of my favorite things. I hate it when either of them go cold. You rock SQ!

Sharon Mayhew said...

Wonderful interview over at Sherrie's place. :) I'm a former elementary school teacher and aspiring picture book writer. I am looking forward to following your blog and learning from you.

Anne Spollen said...

Yes, very true analogy. Especially when you are pressed for time, and you want to move ahead, and you dash it out -- and get a whole lot of dreck.

Off to read the interview...

Natalie said...

I can totally relate to this. I tend to write too slow and I always have to fight off the new ideas that seem so much better than what I have already.

Jessie Oliveros said...

I was thinking about that today. I wrote my first draft fast but it's all junk. Now I write every day...much slower...but MUCH better stuff.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Shelley--I know I just joined your blog, but I'm so excited to find such a great picture book writer's blog that I've given you an award. Hopefully, it will send some more pb writers your way.

Julie said...

This exactly the analogy I needed. Most of the time I write too fast and it requires such large amounts of revision I give up on that process.

Most people have the opposite problem so I don't ind much out there I can relate to.


Wendy Sparrow said...

Yes... so true! I've gone too many days between writing because I've become sucked into this online life. My tea is cold and undrinkable. I'll need to go back in my WIP a lot and try to figure out where I was going. :(

kanishk said...

balance is important! And my tea is mighty cold lately.

Work from home India

storyqueen said...

L and L: I might rock, but you girls rule!

Sharon: Thank you! I don't know how much you'll learn, but I hope we all have fun along the way., that is a cool word. Sums it up right there.

Natalie-I usually let the new ideas have their say...I jot notes about new stuff. (But the truth is that I am always a bit chicken to start something new...getting the voice write so the piece can be written is the scariest part for me.)

Jessie-Yes! My brain is the same! It requires an every day session, but just not a giant one!

Julie-Thank you for stopping by. (Don't want to even talk about revision...)

Wendy-The great thing about having a job with internet filters is that it's impossible for me to get sucked into the online life too much...(at least that's what I keep telling myself.)

Kanishk-Sorry about the cold tea...hope your tea warms up, soon.

Katie said...

I loved this post! Such wise words and a great reminder :-)

Julie Dao said...

Wonderful wise post! It really is all about balance and walking the fine line isn't it? Love that cup - I only have cutesy mugs with Pluto and Minnie on them. I want an evil queen one!

Amy Tate said...

So true! For this reason I have never partcipated in the nano writer thingy. I know that I would spend all that time with nothing to show for it but words strewn out all over my laptop.

Paige Keiser said...

Very true! I'm trying at this very moment to get more balance in my life in general, because it affects my creativity, which affect my illustrations.