• Sue Hawley

The Real Nitty Gritty

Updated: Mar 10


Today marks our 3-week anniversary with the new pup. I can’t believe it’s only been 3 weeks—it feels more like 3 months! Puppy training is not for the faint of heart, as our son is discovering.


As I thought about the work needed to successfully train a pup, it hit me that the same is true for writing (or any other endeavor). Consistency and persistence are the keys to success. One of my favorite quotes is from actor Denzel Washington: “Goals and achievement can’t be reached without discipline and consistency”. Exactly what it takes to train a pup. We have set goals (obedience, manners, etc) but those goals require discipline and consistency on our part, not the pup. The same is true when it comes to writing: it is not the fault of a manuscript if I don’t actually sit my butt down and write!


I have great intentions when it comes to writing. There are two manuscripts waiting patiently for me to work on them. I glance at the icons on my computer every single morning, acknowledging their existence, then move on with my day. I could argue my life is nutso, and has been for a couple of years, which is true. But I can’t think of a time when life wasn’t a bit crazy. The difference is that I had determination to write every single day. The truth is I don’t have that determination at this point. I’m not sure what happened- ideas keep flowing and I write a ton of sticky notes so I don’t forget them. I simply don’t do anything.


Don’t tell anyone, but helping our son train the pup has been good for me. I’m focused on the training, more active than I’ve had to be in a while, and am daily reminded of the need for diligence in every endeavor we undertake. I’ve had to stand in blowing snow and rain for potty breaks at all hours of the day and night, train her in short bursts through the day, and occasionally take an exhausted nap with our new family member.


I might be a physical wreck and look a little like a bag lady- my hair hasn’t been decent for 3 weeks and applying makeup is hit and miss most days. But I realize this won’t last forever and keep on the path of puppy training with grit and determination. And when the hardest parts are behind me this experience is probably just the thing I needed to get my butt in gear and write again. But for now I’m enjoying relearning forgotten lessons of life. Except when it's 1am and freezing and the puppy has to pee. Again.

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