I met Jennifer Eaton online when I started following her blog almost a year ago. Back then, Jennifer made a statement on her blog that she would be published this year. It was brash and determined. I admire her for that. This month, Jennifer is celebrating this achievement. I knew that Jennifer and I are both dog owners, so I asked her to write about her furry family member. So, enjoy her post, check out her new releases and enter her contest to win a copy.
A little over a year ago, my sister went into the dog breeding business. It was important to her to keep one puppy in the family. So like a stinker she put her favorite little yapper into the arms of my son.
Anyway, so now I have this super-peppy-pedigree-championship-line poodle. She’s a great dog. Really, she is. I love her very much. But now that she is old enough, my son has decided that he wants to do agility as a competitive sport.
For those of you who don’t run in dog circles (and I didn’t know this until recently, either) Agility is when dogs race through pre-determined courses with their trainer. They do high walks like balance beams, tunnels, teeter totters, tunnels, jumping… you name it. They are judged on how quickly and correctly they can do these things.
But guess what? That’s not that easy to do! You need to go to school for it.
The other night, I was standing in the training center, dog treats in hand, and thinking: “Training is a lot like writing.” Yeah, my mind wanders to odd places like that.
Anyway. Chloe needed to run through a tunnel. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, not for a one-year-old puppy. It’s scary… big dark tunnel and not knowing what’s on the other side.
That’s a lot like starting a new novel, isn’t it? You have an idea. Your “muse” is calling you to start something new, but you are a little afraid, and aren’t sure if it’s really what you want to do. So, instead of running through the tunnel, you run AROUND the tunnel. You procrastinate. Do dishes, vacuum, anything but actually take it on.
But what happens? No treat at the end of the tunnel, right? So you end up back where you started from, facing down the long, dark, scary hole. Your muse calls to you: “Come on, it’s okay. I have a treat for you.” You take a step. You write your idea down. Hey, that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Your muse calls to you again. You wag your tail and take another step. You might even outline the story. You are in the tunnel, but you back out. Whew! Safe again.
But your muse is getting ornery now, isn’t it? It knows you have a plot outlined. It knows you just need that little kick to get started. So what does it do? It crawls into the tunnel so you can see it.
“Oh Muse! There you are!”
Feeling better about your idea, and not feeling so scared with your muse in the tunnel with you, you bark and wag your tail. (umm, sit at your computer) You hear the muse call again.
“Maybe I can do it!”
Now you’re just as excited as your muse. Mustering all your courage, you take a deep breath… and you race through the tunnel with reckless abandon!
And what waits at the end? Your muse, happy and excited that you’ve completed your task, giving you a treat and tons of hugs and praise. That would be your publishing contract and your rave reviews.
Was it hard getting there?
Sure it was, but what an adventure!
And you know what the best part is? Next time you are faced with that new idea… you won’t be quite so afraid to run through that tunnel.
So what are you waiting for? Whatever it is that you’re itching to do… take a deep breath and RUN THROUGH THAT TUNNEL. There’s always a tasty treat waiting on the other side.
Jennifer Eaton lives on the East Coast USA with her husband, three boys, and a pepped up poodle. She hosts an interactive website www.jennifermeaton.com aimed at making all writers the best they can be.
Her Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology from J.Taylor Publishing. Her Christmas Romance “Connect the Dots” is available as part of Still Moments publishing’s “For the Love of Christmas” Anthology. Both are available in ebook format from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.
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