“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.” —Mary Pickford
Being a writer requires many qualities to succeed. Talent, perseverance, passion, persistence, and of course, the ability to learn, grow, and evolve. Yet few focus on an essential ingredient in this engaging slop of characteristics: Courage.
Writers must have unwavering courage to face each day. Courage to dare to begin a new story. Courage to push through not only our fictional “black moment” but also our own inner obstacles to finish what began from nothing more than a promise and a dream. Courage to edit and revise what we THOUGHT was perfect. Courage to query and submit (repeatedly). Courage to face the reviews and the next project. Damn.
Courage to pick ourselves up, when staying down is so very tempting…
So how do we do it? Well, as we all know, part of it is involuntary. We Are Writers. We have no choice. We simply must put words to paper. We must write—it is survival. So, in response to our need for Fresh Air and a Fresh Start, let’s look at some survival tactics. *smile*
Embracing a New Beginning…
“The greatest masterpieces were once only pigments on a palette.” --Henry S. Hoskins
Every artist starts at the exact same place. The beginning. As you type that first word remember this... all the authors you admire most, every one of them begins with The First Word. The playing field is always level. No matter how accomplished or how novice, each writer must begin the novel and finish it. That never changes. Each chapter, each page, each sentence all starts at the same place. The first word at The Beginning.
Write What You Love…
“It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy." --Lucille Ball
It really is… *grin* Lucille starred in a CBS radio program, “My Favorite Wife” with hubby Desi Arnaz. CBS asked Lucy to develop the show for television. The initial pilot failed and the couple took the show on the road as a vaudeville act, which resulted in a smash success. *snap!* CBS picked up the soon-to-be-classic comedy sensation. Yet here’s a bit of trivia… When they first began filming, the show fell flat. Desi realized exactly what his wife needed in order to shine. He brought in a studio audience and A Star Was Born. Knowing what makes us happy, both in our personal life AND in our creative pursuits… that’s one helluva good start. *wink*
Every Day a New Opportunity…
"Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance." –Oprah Winfrey
YES! I love this quote, not only becomes I am inclined to do just that at any given moment *cough* but also because This is the way to approach our writing. Breathe deep, kick off the restrictions and let our imagination, our love of writing, our joy Dance Across Each Page. This is not just a labor of love. This is a dance. Let’s try to remember…
Each Struggle Teaches Us, Strengthens Us, Gives Us More to Work With…
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”— Friedrich Nietzsche
Ah…. There it is. The conflicts and the struggles. The sting of defeat, the exuberant laughter. Each tender, fragile moment that touches and sometimes even shatters our vulnerable self is a gift. The gift of an unpredictable life bursting with potential. The potential that each writer here can tap into. Let the chaos reign, let the birthing begin!
Stealing A Few Precious Moments To Write…
“It is better to begin in the evening than not at all.”— English proverb
Some of the best writers, and the most successful authors, started with little time to spare. Carving out moments when the first rays of dawn barely pierce through the morning’s fog or fending off the need for sleep to tap out a page or two before tumbling into bed. Some here sketch out ideas between children’s naptime and the scramble for a family meal. I’m in constant awe and touched with admiration for everyone here that masters those time constraints and manages to produce books, query agents and editors, edit and revise, and all that a career in writing requires. Take just a moment (I know you have few to spare!) and acknowledge your strength, your courage and your astonishing persistence. You Are Amazing—You Write…
When I began this essay, I hoped to provide some hope and inspiration for all those who desperately need that bit of fresh air and now, I realize my goal has evolved yet again. I want to express my appreciation, my own humble admiration for all the writers whose talent and spirit is matched by their amazing perseverance. You Are Incredible. Thanks for the constant inspiration, and for the never-ending examples of what A Writer Can Do.
In this spirit I want to offer a quote, one of my very favorites, from an author whose work has touched millions of hearts. From a story that resonates through the ages.
“When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they went skipping about and that was the beginning of fairies.”— J.M. Barrie ( 1860-1937) Peter Pan, Act1
Remember, always, We Are The Magic-Makers. We Are Writers!
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
And the creation of a thousand books begins with a single word…
What are we waiting for, let’s Write!
Goals for this week:
Complete reread of WIP.
How about you?