Thursday, May 4, 2017

Paddle Your Own Canoe

Isn't it interesting how a very few words can provide us with a fine life lesson? That's one of the reasons I like to use photo quotes on many of my posts. Katharine Hepburn said a lot in her few words.

As writers, we can't rely on others to move us down the river of the writing life. We might turn to a few experts, via books or interviews or articles they've written, for guidance and to gain more knowledge of our craft. I encourage that every chance I get.

Even so, it's up to individual writers to paddle your own canoe as Ms. Hepburn says. It's only the writer who can write the story that is in his/her head. It's only the writer who can make the final revisions or editing. It's only the writer who can write a cover letter and submit his/her work.

Like it or not, writing is pretty much a solitary existence. We don't work with a team. It's us alone. You and I sit at our computer surrounded by no one. We tap the keyboard and watch our story grow on the screen in front of us. If we don't make the story move from beginning to middle to end, nobody else is there to do it for us.

Consider the path a story takes. Idea in the writer's mind. Mental pondering on same. First draft written. Revise and edit. Submit. So, who is paddling the canoe through all this? You. All by yourself. If you sit back and wait for someone to come and help in any one of those processes, you'll have a very long wait.

Yes, you can have help by asking others to read and critique your work but the main thrust of it all comes back to you. You can get stuck in the shallows if you don't pursue any one of the steps involved or if you convince yourself that you have writer's block and sit silently in front of your computer. It's you who must push yourself--paddle that canoe with zest and zeal if you want to move into the publishing pond.

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