Monday, June 16, 2008

We Are All Meant to Shine

"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her." ~David Brinkley

There's an old saying, 'you can't please all the people all the time.' Which begs the question, why would we want to? When did we decide our Job was to please others? Although it may be a strange question to consider, I think as writers it's bound to come up.

Here's why. We Want Readers. We want readers to enjoy our books and to read them. *smile* Agents and editors have an invested interest in making sales, so they have their own personal stake in this (which often may be driven right through the heart of the book we adore).

So… what to do?

First thing is to remember is this. Writing is an art. Can an artist switch to please the market and be successful? Or happy? Hmmmm…

"At moments of great enthusiasm it seems to me that no one in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important" –M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher is known for his brilliant, precise work. Drawings and etchings of such magnificent complexity it truly boggles the mind. His work features alternate realities and optical illusions with a strong mathematical component. Now, imagine for a moment if he fretted about chasing the market and instead focused on painting in an impressionistic style. Or if the daring masters of Impressionism balked under public pressure (the "newfangled approach" baffled and offended many at the time).

"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." ~Vincent Van Gogh

While we do need to balance an awareness of the market in our work, moving forward is essential. Part of moving forward is to Embrace What You Love To Write.

"The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable." ~Paul Tillich

Here's a thought. There's someone out there who will love your voice, even if you first encounter a dozen who don't. The more books you write, the more books you submit, the more books you publish, the greater the chance You Will Find Your Audience.

Yet there will be fans who feel dismayed or betrayed. Who imagine the story being something different. Or who wish you would write in a particular way. When some romance authors made the change to suspense (Lisa Jackson, for example), fans were disappointed. And boy did they let her know it.

Pete Forever, Ringo Never… Heck, when the Beatles switched out Pete Best for Ringo Starr their fans were outraged too. And we all know how THAT worked out. *smile*

"Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality." ~Les Brown

As a writer, you will face naysayers before you finish that first manuscript. When you're submitting, the rejections will feel like a slap in the face. *sigh* The reviews will sometimes hit you where it hurts. *groan* So, what are you going to do about that? Well, I have an idea. WRITE! Write, write, and write some more. You Are A Writer. You Can Do It!! Dare to dream, dare to write!

"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." ~Jean Sibelius

Critics can explain in great detail why something won't work (Thank Goodness the Wright Brothers didn't listen) but what do they know? You can spend your life reinforcing all the negative crap that is flung your way OR you can realize this. You Are A Success. You Can Achieve Anything. Anything at all.

"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway." ~Mary Kay Ash

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." ~Author Unknown

Take a moment and breathe deep. Close your eyes and wiggle your fingers and toes. Consider all your dreams, your ambitions, your hopes for the future. Now… Visualize The Reality You Want To Create. If you're working on your first (or fifth) manuscript, visualize typing the words The End. If you're sending out a query (or ten), picture an agent or editor devouring your story, then picking up the phone and giving you a call. Visualize your gorgeous shiny book clutched in your trembling hands. If you're waiting for reviews, paint a picture in your mind of the Best Review Ever.

I'm serious now. Take a few moments and etch that image until you feel the excitement tingling inside. Once you get that tingle, say these words: This Is The Truth. This Is My True Reality. I Am A Success. Anything else is simply an illusion I no longer need. This Is My True Reality.

Belief and Action are the tools you need to make it happen. Write Your Books. Believe In Your Success. You Can Do It!

One more piece to inspire you…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
--Marianne Williamson A Return to Love

Let's set some goals!

My goals:
15-25 pages on current WIP.
Remember it's only a first draft!!
Rewrite query and synopsis on last WIP.
Weekly essay for blog.
Write up documents for RWAOL forum.
Believe in my success!

How's about you?

Here's to another productive week tingling with potential! Go-go-GO!!

Smiles,
Chiron

15 comments:

Inspire said...

I love your blog. I know when I click the link in my favorites, I will always find something uplifting, something encouraging to read. I needed a boost this morning, and you motivated me to sink myself into my NIP, my novel in progress. I'm working on editing. In fact the fourth round, and hopefully the final until an editor gets his/her hands on it.

Sandy said...

Chiron,
What a wonderful post. It always so motivates me to write.

Hugs,
Sandy

Inspire said...

Thanks for the comments over on InSpire, Chiron.

A plug for Paul. He is a fantastic luther, and builds beautiful electric guitars. I'm trying to get him to start making electric violins. I plan to build him a website, but in the meantime he has a page at Shoutlife.

http://www.shoutlife.com/profile_view.cfm?uid=57763

Chicki said...

I always look forward to your blogs, because I always need encouragement!

Thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog today. Wasn't Palisades Park a great place? I know it doesn't compare to Six Flags, but back then it seemed just as great to me. :)

Tiffany James said...

Chiron,

Thank you for your wonderful post! I lay in bed at night envisioning my life as an author!

My goal this week is to edit and revise 30 pages of my WIP.

And now I am inspired and motivated and tingling!

Tiffany

Heather Wardell said...

I love that Marianne Williamson quote. I've seen it so many times and it gets me every time. SO true.

My goal this week is to write every week day and 'hit those strings like I mean it'. :)

Heather

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Chiron!

Thanks again for your great, motivating post. This is less of a writing week for me, but now I am inspired to take on whatever I need to!

Also, loved the David Brinkley quote.

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Hey Rita!

Happy editing with your NIP. Fourth round, eh? Good for you! Let me know when it gets picked up. *thumbs up!* And I love Paul's page on Shoutlife. Very, very cool!! I forwarded it on to George.

Fabulous!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Sandy,

Thanks so much!! That's music to my ears. Good writing to you this week!

Hugs and smiles,
Chiron

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Hi Chicki!

We all need a little boost, don't we? Your tribute was so incredible... You are an amazing writer, woman.

And yes, I loved Palisades! Actually, I rather prefer the old parks to the new ones. The charm and heart was there. Did you clip the coupons from the back of the comic books? *laughs* X-ray Specs, Sea Monkeys, & Discounted Tickets at Palisades Park. Love it!

Fond smiles,
Chiron

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Tiffany,

I'm so glad! You keep focusing. What you can dream, you can achieve. Go-go-GO!!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Hi Heather,

I love Marianne's words too. The first time I read that piece, the tears started flowing. Years later, her message still touches me.

Write ON with your goals! That's the key. Play on, my dear, play on!!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Renee,

I'm so glad you stopped by! It's all a balancing act, eh? My time is being gobbled up by appointments today and tomorrow, so I'm sneaking in moments when I can. Ah, but even when our fingers aren't hitting the keys, We Are Writers! I've been considering plot points whenever I can.

I love that quote too... When I read it, I knew I had my essay. *grin*

Smiles to you!
Chiron

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Chiron, what a lovely post.
Your post inspires me to be the best me I can, after all who can be me better than Me? Your words and your passion are inspiring.
love, Cathy

Chiron said...

Thanks, Cathy, for your sweet words.

You are such a treasure!

Hugs and love,
Chiron