As I mentioned last time, my family struggled this past weekend when we had to say goodbye to our cat, Raven. The last time we lost a pet, I wasn’t ready to get another for over a year. But this time—especially with her being taken from us so young—felt different.
It’s not that we can ever replace a loved one. But we can be so used to having them around that we long to fill that empty place sooner rather than later.
As we were debating the “right” time to get a new cat, I was reminded of a lesson from the writing world. We have experienced (or will experience) many setbacks in our writing career:
- a story that doesn’t come together as we hoped
- a rejection from an agent or editor
- a dead end when submitting our work for publication
- a bad review or a tough critique
- a loss in a contest
- etc., etc.
When we encounter problems, the advice isn’t to give up, or wait a year before trying again. Instead, the advice is to try, try again.
Setbacks? Move Past Them
As soon as we finish licking our wounds, we’re advised to move forward:
- get help (fixing our story, writing a better query letter, etc.)
- start a new story or work on a different story
- submit to a different agent or editor
- focus on our current projects instead of worrying about an old one
- try a different approach (write new query letter, gather more feedback on potential issues, look into self-publishing, etc.)
- just start somewhere (start a big revision with what we know how to fix, etc.)
Depending on the depth of the setback (and our current situation), we might need only a few minutes to dig in, or we might need a week to change gears. If we struggle to get past the setback or change gears, we should probably reach out for help.
After a particularly tough critique, for example, we might bounce the feedback off our friends to see if they agree with suggested changes or if they have different insights more in line with our goals for the story. Or after we send a dozen or so queries with no nibbles, we might get help from friends or writing groups on our query letter.
“Try Again?” Sure, I Can
Justify Rationalize Learn from That Lesson
It was with that “moving forward” perspective in mind that we headed to the Arizona Humane Society yesterday. *smile* (Er, yes, I’m blaming writing for this decision. Sort of. *snicker*)
With all the chaos, I didn’t have time to write up an in-depth post for today, so instead, meet the newest member of our family…
(Note: Newsletter readers, click through the post to see cute kitten pictures. *grin*)
This little kitten had just been surrendered by her mom’s family on Monday, had her spay surgery Tuesday, and moved into her shelter cage yesterday morning. By yesterday afternoon, she was home with us.
After all those busy days, she promptly conked out. (Yes, that’s her asleep below, half-in and half-out of the carrier, just seconds after the picture above.)
She was so tired that she let us pass her around, from lap to lap. At 9 weeks old, she’s very tiny—2.53 pounds.
And even though just met us, she trusts us already, flaking out in every vulnerable position.
We held her for the next hour, and then we introduced her to a new favorite toy. (Every cat I’ve ever owned has loved this toy—chasing around a ball that can’t be caught. *grin*)
You’ll notice I didn’t share her name. That’s because this event was so not-planned that we haven’t decided on one yet. Oops. She’s mostly black with a fair amount of dark chocolate brown mixed in, and we want something vaguely appropriate for her coloring.
We’re currently debating between:
- Cora or Cori (short for Licorice)
- Cleo (for Cleopatra)
Let us know if you have a favorite. Or have other suggestions. *grin*
Wish us luck in welcoming this teeny kitten to our home and family. And just remember, whenever you can’t resist taking a leap in your life, blame it on a lesson you learned from writing. *snicker*
Have you justified life decisions on lessons you learned from writing? If so, what decision did you make, and what lesson did you “blame”? Have you ever wanted to jump into being a new pet parent shortly after losing a pet? If so, what were your reasons, and how did it work out? What name do you think we should pick?Pin It