Monday, May 21, 2012
Taking our time to get there
The other day at taekwondo*, we were working on forward rolls. The class was a mix of kids and adults and various levels of black belts. Now, I used to have a pretty decent forward roll but for some reason, I’ve lost my mojo lately. It happens sometimes. You have some kind of brain freeze or blip - or lose your confidence - and you suddenly can’t do something that only a short time ago, you were pulling off. It’s not unlike getting writer’s block.
While waiting for my turn to demonstrate my roll for the instructor, I made a comment (okay fine, I whined like a baby) to a nearby friend that I was the only adult in the room who had a “loser roll.” Without missing a beat, she pointed out that I was also the only adult in the room who didn’t take hapkido (another martial art that focuses on joint manipulation and throwing/falling techniques.) In other words, even though I felt like I should be so much better, I was probably not too far off from right where I should be.
I feel this way about writing sometimes, too.
I look around at other writers and think I should be much further along by now. I let myself get down about any number of things: the speed at which I write, the fact what I want to quiet books when quiet books aren’t selling, the number of friends who’ve landed book deals when all I’ve been collecting is rejections from editors. (Super kind rejections, but rejections nonetheless.)
But the thing is, I’m probably not far off from right where I should be.
Maybe other writers put in more hours, are simply more talented, are blessed with a speedy pen, have better luck or ideas that are hot at the moment. But that’s okay. As I’ve learned over the last (almost) seven years of taekwondo training, this is not a race.
We’ll all get there. Eventually. We just gotta keep showing up and practicing. And, oh, remembering to tuck our heads to the side when we roll. :-)
*I seem to start a lot of my posts off this way, don’t I? :-)