That particular Monday was the last day for me to have attempted taking a Chinese lesson. Ever since, I’ve realized what it is that’s stopping me from taking to this language. Whenever I put my mind to doing anything, I need to give it my all. Without being able to put all of my effort into achieving something, I get frustrated and the thing I’m aiming for, feels to loose its charm. It’s my downfall, I know. But on the other hand I can use this as a tool in order to get things done, because to avoid frustration I keep myself focussed on following through a certain thing that I’ve set out to do.
This standstill at the “Golden Chicken roundabout” forced me to reassess where I’m at. And this is what I’ve realized: Chinese isn’t yet my priority. Yes, of course I want to learn it, but to make any noticeable progress, there has to be an enormous amount of regular effort that goes into it; so extensive is the language. Otherwise it’s almost pointless.
What is it, that’s my priority right now? This won’t come as a surprise, but it’s of course: editing my manuscript. That’s the main thing in my life right now that should be getting my full attention, besides the teaching. So I’m starting to see the editing process as being a project; one that can be completed as soon as I knuckle down and use my spare time to finish draft number 2. Chinese on the other hand, is a learning process that can be ongoing for years.
After talking with Helen (the New Zealand English teacher, who has been studying Chinese for 5 years now) and realizing how much I want to learn, but also how my manuscript is far more important than Chinese, I’ve come to the decision to put Chinese on pause and to complete draft number 2. At first I felt like a failure for choosing to pause the lessons… But now, I’ve put it into perspective. I figure: how much MORE of a failure would I feel, if I didn’t give all of my attention to the editing of something I can only hope will be classed as significant. I know for sure I’d feel worse.
So, since making this decision, I’ve re-opened the manuscript. It had been nearly 4 months since last making any kind of adjustments. And, to be honest, I was terrified to go back and start cutting, chopping and reviewing it… But I knew I had to. It’s an inevitable stage I’d have to face sooner or later… Taking the initial step back into the book was actually bigger than the editing I’ve since been doing. It’s actually refreshing, fun and exciting… And I’ve also set myself a deadline by which to complete it and to also get back in touch with the agent in Dublin (the one who advised me to edit and tighten the story).
I’m happy with this decision and I know how I’ll be approaching the Chinese lessons, once it’s time for me to ‘go all out’ and dive into this language. I’ll also know when I’m ready. And up until that time comes, I’ll be picking up small bits here and there and working on something that will truly give me more happiness and satisfaction than anything else ever will… and so… the story continues…