Life is like a Jigsaw Puzzle – with Pieces Missing

Last Christmas, I asked my husband for a jigsaw puzzle.  I wanted one complicated enough to be a challenge, with a picture we’d consider “fun”.  And boy, did he deliver!

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This 1000 piece beauty has everything to make you crazy.  Big swaths of blue sky painted from the setting sun meet deeper blue ocean.  An Italian village with its multi-colored houses climbs up the cliff.  Little fishing boats line the water’s edge.  If you get tired of trying to find the right color blue for water or sky, you can always search for the right mix of rock for part of the cliff, or the right size and pastel for a specific house.

Egad, it makes us nuts!  Particularly the part about the missing piece(s).  Do you see it in the picture?  Yes, it’s a border piece.  We sorted the straight-edged pieces right out of the sealed box, and we can’t find it.  Who knows what else is missing?  We won’t know until we’re done – in about six months at the rate we’re going.  As I stared at the semi-sorted array of pieces the other night, I reflected on the fact that life is like this puzzle.  In fact, I’ve felt that strongly in recent weeks.

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I love writing.  I love creating the characters, the stories, the drama and the humor.  It jazzes me when the hero and heroine give me a little twist in the plot.  I never know where they’re taking me, and that’s just fine.

The business side?  It makes me crazy!  The authorpreneur business makes a jigsaw puzzle seem like a good analogy.  The missing piece(s)?  It’s knowing you’re working very hard, but progress eludes you.  It’s feeling satisfaction, but still knowing there should be – more.

As I identified a few pieces strung together in a unique wall in the picture, I related that to segments I seem to have coming together (like craft and content) while around it, there are gaps (like discoverability).  Yeesh, how frustrating!

My writing friends support me with reminders that perhaps my “time” hasn’t yet “come”.  Okay, nine books released, met with good reviews and positive feedback, isn’t enough – yet.  Add those to the manuscripts I’m still working on, and I’ve written over a million and a half words in the last three years alone on books.  That total doesn’t count articles, blogs, and copy.

I know, patience.  The pieces will come together.  We’ll find that missing border piece and realize we’d been staring at it for a long time without seeing it.

Or we won’t.  (See if we buy a puzzle from these people again, if that’s the case!)

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In the mean time, I’m looking for dark rock pieces to fill in the cliff at the edge of the ocean.  And if you happen to see the edge piece we’re missing lying on the table in one of these pictures, could you please drop me an email?  You’d have our unending thanks – and a free copy of my next release, Measure Twice, Love Once, due out in April!

How do you fill in the missing pieces in your life?  What tips do you have for the rest of us when patience runs out?  We’d love to hear your advice!