Friday, November 21, 2014
My Two Keywords For Writers Plus One More
Friday seems a good day to talk about the advice in the poster above. You who read the blog on a regular basis know that my two keywords for writers are patience and persistence. The poster says the same thing but in a more poetic way. Still, for me, those two words sum up the attitude that a writer needs to have or acquire.
Most of us don't have patience when we start writing and subbing our work. It comes slowly over the years as we wait and wait and wait to get a response from an editor or agent. The persistence is also a learned thing. The easy way is to give up when our writing career doesn't skyrocket in a matter of months. If you're serious about being a writer and being published, you need to persist relentlessly.
This writing game is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you have been writing for a long time and and have had your work published, you're strong as the lion who claims to be king of all he surveys. If you persist, you're tough. You're courageous. You're self-confident. Maybe you have all these qualities in different degrees. And maybe you're strong for awhile, then slide back.
That's perfectly alright. It's normal. If you made a line graph of your writing journey, it would probably resemble a roller coaster ride at an amusement park. There will be ups and downs from start to the present and continue that way into the future. Even top authors who sell books by the carload have those ups and downs. Let's face it--not every one of their books rates the same with readers. Some will be far higher on the chart than others.
In the poster above, there is one more keyword to add to my own patience and persistence. That one is believe. Consider it step one in your writing journey. We all need ot believe in ourself as writers. With each success we have, that belief becomes a little stronger. Key here is to not let the rejections and the downs in your writing life poke a hole in the belief balloon. When you write something that leaves you feeling satisfied with the end result, believe in yourself. When someone critiques your work and has more positives to say than negative, believe in yourself. I can't do it for you. Your spouse can't do it for you. Believing in yourself is entirely up to you.
Years ago, I attended a writing conference in Kansas City. Loved soaking up all the workshop material but I couldn't tell you today what any of those workshops were about. What I have never forgotten, however, is the motivational speaker after lunch. Her topic centered on not being afraid to tell people you are a writer. Being a newbie at the time, I had been reluctant to announce to others that I was a writer, even though I'd had a few successes. By the time the woman finished speaking, I had the courage and the belief in myself to say "I am a writer." Try it--even if you start by looking in the mirror and saying the words.
If you haven't acquired belief in yourself, patience on your writing path, and continued persistence, it might be time to work on an attitude adjustment. Build yourself up, don't tear yourself down.