In an attempt to get my cholesterol below 350 and my resting heart rate under 90, I’ve moved from a breakfast of bacon and egg croissant to bacon and egg on whole wheat bagels. Additionally, I got a Fitbit thingy to tell me how many steps I’ve walked and how many times I got up in the middle of the night to pee.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned from this: never stop to count your steps. I mean, you’d think I’d have learned this from the Kenny Rogers song, but I’m thicker than a hamburger patty from Eddie’s Oklahoma City BBQ and DVD Rental Shoppe.
If you stop to count your steps, you’re asking for trouble. Maybe you’re close enough to your goal to stop. See, they give you some crazy goal of 10,000 steps a day, which is something like 50 miles or so, I think. So I lowered mine to 1,200, figuring that was more achievable and a nice round number.
Anyway, if you stop and look, you’re doomed. Like the cartoon of the coyote who looks down walking across the chasm. Or the Andrew Hudgins poem that mentions the cartoon of the coyote who looks down walking across the chasm. Or the blog post that mentions the Andrew Hudgins poem that mentions the cartoon of the coyote who looks down walking across the chasm.
As a writer, you should follow this advice. Never, ever send your work to anyone until you’re done. Never. It’s asking for trouble.
In my younger and less-middle-of-the-night-peeing years, I’d sometimes finish a chapter and immediately send it off to fellow writers asking what they thought. All I wanted was for them to say, “Golly, you’re pretty amazing. This is some fantastic writing. I’m so jealous of your skills.”
But my friends are complete assholes.
Instead, they’d say specific things. “Oh, I like how this is going. You plan to have the two of them get together later in the book?”
What? I hadn’t. But now should I? Or if I do, is it obvious that it’s coming? I mean, I shouldn’t because I hadn’t meant to, but maybe I should because it would be a good idea? My lord.
Or they’d make more pointed suggestions. I lost them because I didn’t explain the multiverse well enough. Was the cat talking or just thinking about a Rimsky-Korsakov-themed restaurant. Maddening, I tell you.
When you’re writing, just make up things to tell people. When they say, “How’s the writing going” just tell them it’s going fine.
Don’t tell them anything you’re really doing. Don’t share anything.
Most people just ask about your writing hoping you’ll ask about theirs -- like when people ask about your kids.
Don’t tell them. Don’t say anything.
Just write. Just keep taking your steps.
When you hit your 100,000 words or your 1,000 steps, then you can talk to people about it.
Never talking about the doing. Only talk about the done.