I've done a lot of writing, read a lot of books on writing, taken a few writing courses, had some writing published and won a writing contest. Most recently I've been accepted to a program where I've been matched with a two time Giller Prize, one time Governor General Award winning Writer to help me work through a book I've been writing.
I knew this project would require some hard work...a lot of hard work. Until recently though, I don't think I realized how much. With this comes self doubt ...a lot of self-doubt. Still, I have to believe the submission that lead to my acceptance showed some sort of promise. I'm sure award winning authors don't enjoy spending their time mentoring wannabee writers with no potential.
Yet the past few mornings I've been overwhelmed by the thought of the amount of work ahead of me and the time it will require. How will I ever get through it all? So far I've been able to encourage myself by remembering the wise words I read in an instructional and entertaining book by Anne Lamott. In it she tells the story of her brother who had a project on birds due the next day at school. Having had three months to work on it, he naturally left it all for the night before. Surrounded by books, papers and coloured pencils, he was totally overwhelmed by the task at hand. His father, who was a very disciplined writer, put his arm around his son and said "Bird by bird buddy, just take it bird by bird."