Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sometimes the Long Way Around is Best

There is no royal road to learning; no short cut to the acquirement of any art.
~ Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers
 Yeah...I had to learn this one the hard way :D Still learning this one the hard way. I like my short cuts....Just sayin' :D

See, I always think I can get away with scampering across the bridge instead of hiking down the canyon and back up again. My crit partners are generally in the middle of that bridge with big grins on their faces as they toss me over the edge and make me climb. But then, that's what good crit partners are there for :) And hey, at least they stick around to cheer for me as I make my way to the top. No matter how long it takes me.

Just when I think I have it all figured out, just when I think I can take a short cut here or there, just when I think I've got this whole writing business in the bag, something new smacks me upside the head and teaches me otherwise ;-)

I learn more and more with every book. I pick up new "tricks of the trade" and figure out new strengths and weaknesses. I get better and better. But there will always be something new to learn. I might figure out how to do something better, faster. But there are some short cuts that will just never work. There are some processes that work for other people that will never work for me (and vice versa).

Perhaps that is the most important thing I've learned = There are no short cuts and no magic "rules". Just hard work, the love of what I do, and the satisfaction of a job well done....no matter how long it takes me :D

Do you agree with Mr. Trollope? What have you learned while you strive to acquire your art?


5 comments:

Misha said...

Well... I recently realized that writing and singing is the same kind of experience. The only way to expand your range is by singing.

Just so, the only way to expand your ability as a writer is by writing.

Both requires one to learn how to get the feel for the art. And for that, shortcuts don't help.

:-)

Madeleine said...

Poor Michelle! I can so empathise. I have noticed in my many creative endeavours that when you think you can take a short cut it invariably leads you further out of your way and when you prepare to scale the mountain you find the short cut by accident! It never ceases to amaze me. I think there is some Divine lesson in there someonewhere. :O)

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, yes, this is so true. Very few authors have everything figured out the first time they sit down to write. And those of us who want to be in a rush, really have a hard time not taking the shortcuts...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We still have to do the work.
Wish there was a shortcut to learning to play the guitar like a pro as well.

Stephanie said...

Oh honey, been there, done that! I hate that side of myself . . . the ants-in-the-pants self that completely ignores the many times I've regretted short cutting! Glad I'm not alone!