Plant. Cultivate. Harvest.
It’s spring – a time of planting and growing. A time that just happens to line up with anotherrejection letter on my book. It’s been four months and just over 50% of the publishers, and agents that I've sent my manuscript to have sent back “thanks, but no thanks” letters.
Since I am not one to dwell on bad news, all I can do is take what I've learned over the last year and add it to the story that, five years from now will accompany my success – a story that will be much stronger because it’s full of hard work and heartache.
After all, we all know that every story needs a middle. “Once upon a time there was a girl who had instant success.” Is neither compelling, inspirational, nor realistic. The problem is in this world of instant gratification we often forget that the middle is the most important part. Anything worth doing is worth doing well – and that means that we cannot skip the all important step of cultivation.
- No one would expect that a seed planted on Monday would give you peas on Tuesday – you have to wait.
- No one expects to walk into a fancy restaurant, order steak and lobster and have it on the table within five minutes.
- No one expects a five year old to enter Kindergarten in September and graduate from high school the following May.
So why do we think that everything we want in life should happen now?
- I need to send a letter from Chicago to someone in New York. Pony express is long gone and the train just isn't fast enough. (enter air mail, 1920 via USPS)
- I need to talk to someone right now – someone who doesn’t live in my house (enter the “long range” telephone around 1876)
- It’s January, I need oranges, but I live in Canada. (enter the food trucking industry) I have food, but it's cold (enter the microwave, 1946) I don’t want to make dinner but I need to eat now! (Enter the fast food industry.)
- I need to know where my friends are now! (Enter Facebook.) I need to know what Kim Kardashian is thinking at this moment (enter Twitter)…
Clearly we've been working towards this point of instant gratification for hundreds of years – and more so in the last 60 years than ever before. But now that it’s here, is it possible that we've lost sight of the benefits of patience and hard work? Of having goals and working towards them for years instead of minutes?
You can’t have peas tomorrow if you plant them today and any story worth telling has a middle.
The middle is the best part
Today is your "middle." Enjoy it, learn from it, and when you get to the end, look back on it with pride.