Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Movies Make It Seem So Easy

We all know that anything worth having may not come easily. Any writer would be happy to tell you of the difficult roads they've followed over the years they've been writing. Some have had more bumps along the way than others.

The movies have often led viewers to believe that a writer works hard on his first novel and then, just by chance, meets the connection needed to get in the door of a famed publishing house. Lo and behold, the agent he sees loves his first novel, signs him to a contract immediately and then takes him out for lunch. And maybe seduces him after dessert and coffee. Hey! It's a movie!

What are the odds of getting a first novel published so easily? What are the odds of beating out a few thousand others to get your story into a popular anthology series? What will it take to finally get your article in your local newspaper? Or to win a national writing contest? Or to be awarded a fellowship so that you can hide away in a cabin and write your novel? 

You and I both know that what it takes is hard work. Growing as a writer as you follow your writer's journey is also necessary. Patience and perseverance, my own two favorite keywords, come into play, as well. Rare is the writer who becomes an overnight sensation like the guy in the movie. That's the second part of the movie scenario I mentioned in paragraph 2 today. He becomes so famous so fast that he ends up being hated by everyone who ever truly mattered to him. He hits the depths of despair and...well, you can finish this story as well as I can. 

Commitment to being a writer is a helpful tool, as well. We read all the time about men (and women) who are afraid to commit to a permanent relationship. Dating is fine, but marriage? Scary. Committing to a writing journey is pretty scary, too. With every success you have, it's scary to thnk about having to live up to that success, to repeat it over and over. Make a commitment and stay with it even when you hit those bumpy spots. In the long run, you won't be sorry.

Ask a writer to pen a paragraph or two on discouragement and most of them would have no problem. It's a subject they know well. Ask the guy who wins Honorable Mention in a state contest over and over but never makes it to 3rd, 2nd and 1st place. What about the woman who wants to write more than anything in the world but has enough rejections to cover a wall? 

If you have the passion it takes to be a writer, you can overcome all these problems I've listed here today. You'll still face them but you can get beyond them. Keep writing, keep your eye on your goals and you'll be fine.