Incremental Growth

Just a few days ago I learned that my eBook, What If? A Collection of Short Fiction by J. Paul Cooper, has been added to the catalogue at the City Library in Melbourne, Australia. That’s the way my writing career has progressed, one small step at a time.

One of the full-time writers I admire and consider a role model, sets a standard of 2,000 words a day when working on a novel. If he finishes the word count by 11 Am, then he has rest of the day to pursue other activities.  If it takes until 11 PM to finish writing the two thousand words, that’s when he stops.

For many part-time writers this may not be practical. If you’ve finished a day at work, had supper and driven your child to soccer practice, getting enough sleep to work  and pay the bills, is probably more important than how many words you write. It doesn’t mean you should stop writing, but you have to accept it’s going to be a long process that  requires patience.

The greatest challenge for any writer is continuing to work on a project, even when it feels as if you are making very little progress. It’s like taking one step at a time, climbing up a mountainside.  Logically, you know that if you keep taking one more step you’ll reach the summit, but it isn’t easy. I like how motivational speaker John Assaraf approaches the issue, “Are you interested, or are you committed? If you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient, if you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes.”

I’ve had numerous short stories, articles and essays published over twenty years writing part-time.  Although I haven’t made much money, what I have gained is credibility. I can submit a screenplay to a producer or a manuscript to an editor, knowing I have a track record that proves I can write.

If you’re discouraged with slow progress, don’t be too hard on yourself. As long as you are writing, even if the amount of time you have to write is very limited, you are a writer! It’s your gift, it’s who you are, and no one can take that away from you.

Copyright © 2017 by J. Paul Cooper



Feline Infinity

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Your cat curls up for a nap. As he drifts off to sleep, his mind races across galaxies, through the time-space continuum. His intelligence, far superior to that of a mere human, unravels the mysteries of the universe as he is immersed in the infinite wisdom of the quantum field.

As he returns to the mortal plane of existence, he walks into the kitchen,  prepared to explain the origins of the universe.  Being much smarter than us, cats can speak an unlimited number of human languages, but prefer to communicate with one another using the much more complex dialect our limited comprehension interprets as “meow.”

Your cat is about to explain how the concepts of the Big Bang and Intelligent design are actually compatible, when he hears, “Does kitty want a treat?”  or “What are you meowing about? Does your litter box need to be cleaned?” Although cats are very intelligent, they are easily distracted. Your cat forgets what he was about to tell you and is more than pleased that you’re opening a bag of his favourite treats or going downstairs to clean his litter box.

All across the face of the Earth, scientists are missing the opportunity to finally understand the mysteries of the universe, because they’re too busy opening cat food cans and scooping litter boxes.

Copyright © 2017 by J. Paul Cooper