The Red Queen

The Law of Cause and Effect says that what you put in, you get out.

I think it’s a law that can be applied to all aspects of your life; half measures only produce half successes. Give it everything and you will get out more than you ever dreamed.

You want to be a great writer, work at it. It’s not about quantity, but quality with everything you do.

I used to find it frustrating when I felt as if I was pouring my everything into a project and still not getting there; akin to treading water perhaps or walking on a treadmill. What if we feel we are putting in lots of effort, but still we don’t feel as if we’re moving forward? Actually we are. It’s how we learn.

I use the treadmill analogy as you will find me doing just that every weekday morning around 8.30 for 15 minutes as the first part of my 90 minute or more daily gym session. But does this sense of running, or in my case fast uphill walking, really mean I am exerting all of that effort only to stay in the same place?

Short answer: no.

I have gradually exerted more and more effort into my daily workout, nothing is wasted; sometimes we see results faster than others. But one thing guaranteed: results come from persistent repetitions of those efforts.

The Red Queen Hypothesis, derived from literature, Lewis Carroll in fact, states that it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place. Actually it inspired a short story of mine called The Red Queen that also inspired the title of the short story collection it’s in: In the Shadow of the Red Queen. I believe it was the second story I ever saw published, before I worked for Bridge House. My story is about a scientist who desperately fights for funds to stop the gradual loss of wild animals from the planet and his futile attempts to stop their species files being stamped No Longer Viable. There are some important messages in that story if you get the chance to read it. It comes from how this hypothesis can be directly applied directly to evolutionary biology; something I studied in my first degree; you may feel as if you’re staying in the same place, paddling faster and faster but it’s what’s around you that changes. In the biological sense it shows how animals constantly adapt to meet the needs of a changing evolutionary landscape; but one thing for sure — they have to keep on running to change. Yes — to change.

So in conclusion, even if you feel as if you are putting in so much and staying in the same place, you’re not. But remember changes only come when you keep paddling, and you do it every day. It’s the only way to see results. And as evolutionary biology teaches us–we must forever change and adjust the settings on that treadmill to keep changing in the right direction. So if someone can help with the process and guide your positive actions, focus your mind-set and make sure whatever you do you keep on moving, you will get to where you want to be. I promise you.

But you have to want it. It all starts with desire.

No half-measures.

No excuses — the only person you cheat is yourself.

I can’t do anything without total commitment. Honestly. I have never given up on a goal, never given up on anything. Be that writing or my approach to working with my clients on their mss. I believe in a glass overflowing and the belief that we create our own success. But it’s always about persistent repetitive action. It’s how animals evolve, it’s how we shape lean physiques and it’s how we learn to be the writer we want to be; the best we can be.

Are you ready?


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Filed under being a successful writer, Blogging, Learning to be a writer, Living the dream, Mainstream Fiction, Novel writing, Passion for writing, Publishing, Reading, Writing

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