I met up with a fellow writer yesterday, who I’d originally met at the Green Bay Creative Writers group. She called me industrious. I wasn’t sure if I agreed but I let it go and accepted the compliment (as it was meant).
It’s been on my mind since then. I have a habit of doing this – reading a lot (too much?) into what people say, no matter how flippant or careless the comment may have been. Am I industrious?
I suppose, on the outside, I seem industrious. Especially to people outside the writing industry, and to people who are more familiar with the publishing house timelines of a year, or more, between books. When I’m reminded that I’ve published 3 books in 7 months, and that two years ago I knew almost nothing about writing a book – let alone publishing it! – I start to think that perhaps I am.
But then I remember my friends. Writers who have done so much more, for so much longer. From writing novels that are thousands and thousands of words longer than mine, to organising nationwide festivals & conferences, to setting up their own publishing companies – or just managing to write between a family and a full-time job. Am I really industrious compared to all of that?
Oxford tells me that industrious means ‘diligent and hard-working’. Other definitions add ‘problem solver’ and ‘working tirelessly’.
I am not diligent all the time, but I am persistent, and although I feel hypocritical for saying I am hard-working as I laze on the couch at midday with my laptop on my knees and the kettle boiling, I am certainly working hard towards what I want to achieve.
So, perhaps I am industrious – in my own way, and with plenty of tea-breaks ☕