Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Savvy

Ingrid Law's 2008 Newbery-Honor middle-grade novel, Savvy, tells of the Beaumont family, whose members each discover their "savvy," their own distinctive supernatural gift, when they turn thirteen. Some of the savvies in the book are causing hurricanes, stepping back in time 20 minutes with every sneeze, melting ice with a red-hot stare, and Momma's very convenient savvy of being perfect. The book works to invite readers to reflect on their own savvy and what it might be.

I've decided that my savvy is the ability to get a lot of work output with very little work input. I have many friends who accomplish vastly more than I do, but I don't have any friend who accomplishes as much with as little effort as I do.

This has been a very good savvy. But now that I have these challenging Random House deadlines, I'm sort of wishing that I had the savvy of being able to work very, very hard. What I really wish is that I had that savvy PLUS my savvy: the ability to generate a great deal of outcome with very little effort AND the ability to generate a great deal of effort. Wouldn't that be ideal? It's hard to imagine a more productive combination than that.

But probably the reason why I'm able to produce so much with such limited time expended is because mine is the savvy of highly concentrated effort. If I worked longer hours, my concentration would become diluted. Or at least that is one theory.

More important, in Ingrid's novel, the characters don't get to choose their savvy. It just comes upon them on their thirteenth birthday, and they get what they get. I guess I like my savvy better than the savvy of causing hurricanes or melting ice. In any case, it's my savvy.

What's yours?

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