A new metaphor for this stage

For years, when people have asked me how this writing/publishing thing was going, I’ve described it this way:

I’m doing everything I can to get hit by lightning. I’m out there in an open field carrying golf clubs and flying a kite with keys on it and anything else that might help me get published.

That was back in the day when I was still pursuing traditional publishing. I really liked that metaphor. It communicated both that I was working hard and that success was not guaranteed — after all, getting hit by lightning is fairly rare. Just as it’s fairly rare to get a traditional publishing deal, even with a well-written, engaging story.

But now that I’ve decided to become an indie publisher, I need a new metaphor. It took a friend asking me about my garden to get me there. My garden is usually a bit slower than other gardens in my neighborhood, so while everyone else’s peonies are in full and blowsy bloom, mine are like this.

fat peony bud in my garden

Fat buds.

That’s the stage I’m at in my publishing journey: the fat bud stage. Everything is there, ready to burst forth, but not just yet. The Giant Slayer is still with my Old Testament expert, but as soon as she’s done with it, I’m only three steps away from publishing it (edits, proofreader, book designer).* At the same time, I’ve got a picture book project brewing that we’re independently publishing through a Kickstarter campaign that will be live in mid-August. My words are all done, but I’m setting up the campaign and waiting for our illustrator for get me some art so I can get the website going and let everyone know about it. (There’s more information on my Books page.)


It could be driving me crazy, how close I am, but I spent too long wallowing in disappointment not to enjoy this stage of being on the verge. Fat buds aren’t as showy as full blooms, but they’ve got their own beauty.

Do you have a metaphor for an endeavor you’re in the midst of?

Edited to add: my expert is done! My bud just got fatter 🙂

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2 thoughts on “A new metaphor for this stage

  1. Great analogy. This post makes me happy. 🙂 I’m so excited for you, Natalie. Can’t wait for you to burst into your glory!

    Hmmm, my own analogy? Have you seen Gladiator? You know how Maximus was the respected, almost-heir to the throne? He was beloved by his “grunts” (the legions in his command). Everyone thought he’d already succeeded, but he’s actually an outsider – a foreigner, a pretender. And then he sort of disappeared from view (the part where he has jealous/evil usurpers conspiring against him is where the analogy falls apart a bit for me), but he’s actually out there in the backwater arenas, fighting low-level opposition, shouting “Are you not entertained?” And even though there are a few backwater types that are entertained, he knows he’s not quite ready yet (“Not yet, Spaniard, not yet”).

    Still he knows, one way or the other, he will find his way to that big stage. His story will come into the light. But at some point along the road to the coliseum he sees the truth of it: it’s about more than base motivations, or gaining the applause of the throng. It’s about destiny and humility and honor, and venerating those who showed him the way to awareness. He learns it’s about finding one’s self and finding belief in what is found. (End of analogy, before having to give his life to stay true to himself. 😉 )

    1. Vaughn, I love your analogy/metaphor! A true hero’s journey (yes, I am calling you a hero).

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