Last night I dreamed about lost keys--one of those dreams that highlight frustration in giant letters. My plate is a wee bit too full this week so it's no wonder those lost keys and me chasing hither and yon looking for them came to haunt me in the dark of night. The one I lost was for my car and, in this world, we are toast with a car that sits in the garage waiting for its owner to find the key! When I woke up this morning, that dream made me think about other keys, the ones in our writing world.
Writers must find the keys that open up their writing world. It's not a hide-and-seek game, not nearly as easy as that. We don't find the keys as soon as we decide to pursue the craft of writing. It can sometimes take years and many, many words tapped out on the keyboard or written in longhand. I also think that we sometimes overlook the key when it's lying there staring us in the face. Open your eyes and find me! is what the key might say were it able to speak.
There is no one key to open all phases of writing. Do you remember the old skeleton keys? They had been altered in such a way that they could open all locks. Writers have nothing so easy as that. Let's look at the areas where we'd like to find keys to fling the door wide and allow us complete vision ahead.
Writing: OK, this one's a biggie. We want to know the very best methods to use when we write, the things that will make us memorable writers rather than one of the ordinary sheep in the flock.
Editing and Revising: One more thing that will make you grow as a writer and polish your writing
Marketing: Guess what? This one's a biggie, too. We want to find the best markets for the kind of writing we do.
Selling yourself as a writer: Very hard to do for some people but ever so helpful in promoting your work
Inspiration and Motivation to write: We all need this. Where to find it is often frustrating and when we have it, life is good.
Now, you'd like me to give you the key to each of the categories above. Sorry, but we must each find the key that works for us. We're writers but we're also individuals and one key fits all isn't going to work here. My aim with today's post is to make you seek the key for each of the above in your own writing life. It's to make you think about what the key is for you. When you find it, use it and don't lose it. Lose it and Mr. Frustration moves right in.