Friday Fable: The Writer and the Busy Life

daimon on dockYou may know the old story, The Child and the Brook:

One day an old man was out walking when he noticed a child standing by the side of a stream. The boy stood there for over an hour, shifting from leg to leg, fidgeting, sighing, and staring at the water.

“Why do you gaze so long and so impatiently on this stream, child?” the old man asked.

“I want to get across it but I don’t want to get my feet wet,” the child said. “So I’m waiting till the water runs off and the ground dries up.”

This stream never stops.

This stream never stops.

The old man (who quickly realized the child was a dimwit and took pity upon him), said kindly, “You’ll be waiting your whole life then, child, for this stream never stops. Unless you want to follow it out to the sea, you’re going to have to wade.”

And the moral is: Don’t wait for the impossible.

That is a good old tale. But if Aesop were a modern slave to the written word, he might have called his fable, The Writer and the Busy Life:

One day an editor was in a cafe when he overheard an aspiring writer tell her friend about her latest idea for a children’s novel.

“It’s about a lovestruck pygmy shrew who eats a magic root that turns him into a handsome human prince,” the writer said. “He scorns the vacuous world of humanity’s rich and famous because all he wants to do is get back to his tiny shrewish bride-to-be.” The writer was giddy with excitement as she added, “I’ve got all the characters figured out and all the scenes planned. It feels like the whole book is alive in my head!”

The pygmy shrew. (Way cuter than a human prince.)

The pygmy shrew. (Way cuter than a human prince.)

“Why don’t you start writing?” the editor asked. (Being an editor, he felt that butting into the conversations of aspiring writers was not the least bit rude.)

“I need a few months of free time to devote myself to the project,” the writer said. “I don’t want to jump into it and then have to jump back out to go to work or taxi the kids somewhere. And of course there’s Christmas baking to get started, plus I’ve got my mother coming for a visit and I’ve started a new pilates session on Saturdays. I’m way too busy. It’s better to wait till I have a big chunk of free time without interruptions and then I’ll be able to write a really great book.”

This stream never stops, either.

This stream never stops, either.

The editor (who quickly realized the writer was an optimist and took pity upon her), said kindly, “You’ll be waiting your whole life then, child, for this stream never stops. If it’s not work or family, it’s vet appointments and emails. Unless you want to watch your story wash out to sea, you’re going to have to set aside at least three hours a week for this book and defend that scheduled time from all the forces that’ll try to take it over. Good luck.”

And the moral is: Time to write cannot be found; it must be taken. 

And that’s my Friday fable. Now go ahead and get your feet wet. Start writing your story today.

Or you could procrastinate by reading about pygmy shrews and how to help them on the Wildscreen ARKive website (where that adorable shrew picture is found).

Have a great weekend.


4 comments on “Friday Fable: The Writer and the Busy Life

  1. Uh, oh. I’ve been procrastinating – digging for treasure in the bins of used clothing at Frenchy’s (aka Christmas shopping). Back to writing on Monday … or maybe Tuesday …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Little Fears

Tales of whimsy, humor and courgettes

wuthering bites

Writing practice


The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer


A blog about illustration, illustrators, techniques, style and news.

I am Buddy

It's a dogs life

Roxie Munro

Children's books, kid's apps...

The Wilden Marsh Blog

A blog about Wilden Marsh. Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest


Original Musical Stories by "Golnaran", "The musical cube maker"

Jan L. Coates - "What if...?"

life as a kids' writer


Children's Book Reviews

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People


This blog is about encouraging reading throughout the school years. By watching book trailers it is hoped that you will be inspired to read the book.

(Lost in) Believing in Books

A Young Adult & New Adult Book Blog

The Sweet Sixteens

2016 Young Adult and Middle Grade Debut Authors

Young Adult Book Madness

YA & NA Book Reviews

YA Book Reviews

Reviews for Young Adults or just Adults.

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

Leaping to your bookshelves in 2015!

Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

YA Crush

Pass a note to your favorite YA book


A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

The Whole Megillah

The Writer's Resource for Jewish-themed Story: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Cheryl Willis Hudson's Blog

Children's Book Author/Editor/Publisher


the networking e-zine for children's writers & illustrators

Julia Lee Author

A blog about reading and writing children's books

Tracey Baptiste


Random Acts of Reading

reviews, raves and a random assortment of book buzz

Children's Literature Crossroads

children's literature meets teaching, reading, talking, writing, and thinking

Books Around The Table

A potluck of ideas from five children's book authors and illustrators

Chapter Book Chat

A Writer Reviews Chapter Books, by Marty Mokler Banks

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.


Booksellers New Zealand's blog

Flowering Minds

Children's Book Review Site

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Bobs Books Blog

Childrens and Young Adult Book Reviews by Bob Docherty

Pretty Books

One girl's adventures in books, food and travel

%d bloggers like this: