Saturday, June 11, 2011
On the Journey and Along the Way
I feel fortunate on this writing journey that I've made some friends in the writing world along the way, and I'm talking real friends, not facebook acquaintances.
What I want to share with you today are some thoughts on an article my friend, Barb Samuel, posted to Writer Unboxed. If you, as a writer, are not connected to that magazine, you really should be. I find it invaluable. The title of Barb's article is, "So you want to be a professional writer, " and it was posted on May 25, 2011 if you'd like to find it for yourself.
The dream is to be published, but what does that dream look like? How do you visualize yourself in that life? Barb asks these questions to make us think, really think about what that dream is versus what we imagine it to be. Next, she clues us in on qualities that we will need to fall back on as professional writers.
1.Flexibility - you have to be able to shift with the times and the market. If you only write one thing (and a lot of us do), there will be dry spells. As writers, we need to hone our voice and skill to flow with the changing tides.
2. Positive thinking - Barb says the writer who persists and succeeds knows that good things might happen tomorrow.
3. A hide like a rhinoceros - well, let's face it and it's true. Not everyone is going to like your work and some are going to be quite vocal about it. Sometimes their reasoning for hating it have nothing to do with your work at all. But, like #2, good things might happen tomorrow. Don't let it break you down.
4. Animal cleverness and devotion - well, Barb says professional writers are like cats, independent and clever, making quick leaps. Professional writers are also like dogs, hungry for attention. As Barb says, why would anyone sit for hours in a room, tapping away on a keyboard if they didn't want someone to pay attention to them?
And finally, Barb states that there is a "deep bone of satisfaction" in seeing that row of books against the wall, work that would never have existed at all unless you stuck to it.
So, as writers, we need to link arms, support one another on the journey, make friends along the way, and persist. I want to feel that "deep bone of satisfaction" as I gaze across a row of books, my books. How about you?