Everyone remembers getting a learner’s permit and then driver’s license. If you were smart, it all happened within a year.
In Oregon, you got your permit when you were 15 and then went for your driver’s test at 16. When I turned 15, I immediately went down and got my permit.
My mother took me out a few times, but it always ended in disaster. She did not have the patience and I just couldn’t get the hang of a stick shift. (We had a Honda CVCC and a VW Bus.)
That summer, my high school offered a free driver’s ed class. My best friend took it, but for some reason, I didn’t. Not when I had three months to be lazy! My mom and I kept trying, but we weren’t making much headway.
My 16th birthday came and went. Permit expired.
At the beginning of my junior year, I got another permit and took driver’s ed. This time, it was $50. Oops. But I finished at the top of my class and was among the first to go out for the actual driving. A few more times with my mom, and I thought I had a handle on it.
Cue the beginning of my senior year. Permit expires again. Why should I go get my license when my boyfriend has a car?
Before I graduated, I got my permit for a third time. My boyfriend took me out driving in both that old VW and his automatic transmission Pinto. After graduation, I was ready! I took the driver’s test… and failed! I still could not handle that giant stick shift in the VW.
During the next 30 days, my boyfriend took me out in his Pinto almost daily. I went back, taking his car instead, and finally passed.
What does this have to do with writing? Think of all the missed opportunities! Three permits, two attempts at a license, and a driver’s ed class that should’ve been free.
How many times do we do something similar with our writing? We begin but never finish. We hear about a contest but never enter. We network but never do anything with those contacts. We attempt publication but don’t put forth enough effort or pick the wrong vehicle.
Have you been delaying your writing career?