Happy Cinco de Mayo!
This week's essay is inspired by all the writers I'm blessed to know. The quotes all come from the many inspirational comments left on my blog. For almost a year now, I've scoured the internet weekly, searching for extraordinary bits of wisdom to insert. This week I want to show what a treasure trove of brilliance sparkles within our circle of writers. I feel blessed and honored (and more than a little inspired) by the thoughtful comments left by others. Here's to our writing family!
I don't think any other career (besides acting maybe) requires you to keep practicing your craft even as the rejections pile up. Instead of looking at the pile of rejections and wondering "why," kick them up in the air and wonder "why not"?
Bravo! Yes, indeed. There's much uncertainty in being a writer. The temptation to slink back and question our career choice may be strong. For those of us who've faced endless revisions or repeated rejections a whisper may creep in… "Why keep going?"
Well, why the hell not? *grin* Just today I read on the RWA PRO loop of yet another author who has reached that glorious pinnacle. After twelve years of hard work and dedication (atta-girl), she happily announced her sale:
I just wanted to remind everyone that there is no secret to this other than never stop submitting and believing. It took me 12 years. It's taken some people less and some more but it can't happen at all if you stop submitting.Write what you love, I stick to that motto because it shows in your work, and keep plugging away.The end result is SO worth it!!!
Michelle Beattie, who has since sold 2 more to Berkley!
Michelle Beattie WHAT A PIRATE DESIRES
If we want to be writers, we must BE writers. That means embracing the craziness, the tears and laughter, the celebratory champagne and the consolation hugs. We commit to this career knowing that we Will succeed, as long as we keep our vision true and those fingers busy. Remember, nearly all "overnight sensations" work for years before they make it. Success requires effort yet the rewards are supreme… *pumps fist in air* Yeah, baby!!
And speaking of embracing the craziness:
My theory about writers is that we must possess a bit of nuttiness, otherwise our worlds aren't as zany as they should be. :) Lea Schizas - Author/Editor
Oh-so-true. Although not a fiction writer, the extremely talented Erma Bombeck leaps to mind. There's someone who snatched all that craziness into a big old bear hug. *heh-heh* And here's something pretty darn cool to consider. If perhaps you're not the type to splash in those puddles or maybe protest a scheduled development by slipping into a duck costume to waddle and quack for the cameras (hey, why not? *grin*), you can Create The Wackiest Character Ever. This is YOUR World. YOU Are Creating A World. And in this world, you, through your characters, can be anything freaking thing you want to be! If that doesn't get your blood racing and your fingers eager to write, I don't know what will. (Says Chiron, who's now considering just where she can stick that duck costume-wearing character).
After reading a cool L 'Engle quote, Cathy said:
BTW, Madeleine L'Engle not only made me want to write when I was a kid (and to swim with dolphins, fly with archangels, and fight evil on all kinds of levels... can we ever ask for more as a writer than to inspire that in a reader?) but the Hitchhiker series convinced me I was nuts enough to create a little magic and enjoy the ride.
Oh, yeah! There's the life for me (Chiron hums with a bit of Yo-ho-ho in her voice). Imagine how much fun it is to create characters who sprinkle a little magic dust on… hmmmm… how about a vacuum? Zoom, zoom, zoom and the modern witch flies high in the sky, cord trailing and bits of dust leaking from the bottom (dang, MUST remember to empty canister before taking off next time).
Let's all vow to embrace that wackiness within our soul and "enjoy the ride." Especially because:
Sometimes, when we are in the middle of a story, and the writing is tough, we forget the magic.-- Renee Knowles
We forget the magic and feel overwhelmed by the Grand Adventure Turned Nagging Task. We need to invigorate ourselves. Rekindle the joy. Rediscover the adventure. How to do that? One way is to step away from the computer or pad of paper, and re-enter the real world. Bask in the rays of sunshine or crack open the umbrella and revel in the drops of rain dancing around you.
We can and WILL finish our stories, edit our stories, publish our stories as long as we're patient and persistent. Taking a break may be the exact 'write' thing to do, *smile* so go ahead, take a moment and breathe.
I think the real problem is that we live in a rush rush society and want everything yesterday. I'm probably the most impatient person you could ever meet, and I'm slowly coming around to realize I need to slow down and smell the roses. Good things have come to me and will continue to come to me, WHEN the time is right. :) Debbie Wallace
Yup… we must temper our impatience and recognize each book is written one page at a time. Each query goes out one at a time. We must incorporate patience and trust, along with our persistence and passion.
Writing is one of the few careers that lets you tests the range of your emotions. :) I try to explore it when no one else is testing me. Angelique Newman
*heh-heh* I hear you, Angelique. If memory serves, such a choice was NOT available when I worked customer service. *snort* But what a marvelous, magnificent reality we embrace as writers. Scream, dance, whisper, rage, sob, laugh exuberantly, and love without restraint—all within the pages of YOUR story. Woo-hoo!
Maybe I'm biased but personally, I believe being a writer is the Best Damn Career there is. *grin* Just think of the magic you hold in your heart and the amazing opportunity to sprinkle that magic onto the printed page.
Yes, there is effort and plenty of struggle. Think of yourself as a sculptor, chipping away at a huge block of stone. Your mental muscles may ache but be patient, my writerly friend, because you truly are creating something magnificent. When you need a boost, reach out to your writer friends because WE KNOW what it takes, don’t we? And we also know… We Can Do It. We Are Writers.
Let's make it happen. I have so many great 'comment quotes', there'll be another essay (or more) devoted to the wisdom offered up by the writers we know. But one last bit of insight to keep us on track:
Always moved forward, don't look back. --Allison Knight
That says it all. One word, one sentence, one page, one scene at a time.
Thanks, Allison and everyone for such incredible comments!
Let's have another Fabulous and Productive Week! Kick the energy up another notch... Remember: We Are Writers!