Tag Archives: perseverance

Don’t forget the Bliss

It is said that everyone has a book in them. Not only is it ingrained in the human psyche to tell stories, but also for most of us, there’s something inside that just can’t stop telling a tale. It’s a passion that keeps us coming back, day after day, to the blank page — a hunger to fill the white spaces.

And like most of people with a passion, we dream of the day when that passion pays off and we can quit our mundane lives to devote all our time and effort into a job that we truly and absolutely love. Like the high school girl who heads off to Hollywood to become the next big movie star or the college kid who quits law school to become a rockstar, we who are called to the written word dream of being the next Bestseller. The only problem is that, unlike movie and rockstars, the bestselling author rarely gets the glamour or the big paycheck that sets them up for life.

We all know this, right? Writing will not make most of us rich.

And yet, we strive and shell out hard earned cash for workshops and seminars and books on craft so that we improve and can one day write that stunning masterpiece that will put us on the map. As we become more and more devoted to that dream, we put more time and effort into learning the business, pushing ourselves out of our solitary writerly existences to learn things like web design and marketing and promotion. All in the quest for becoming a published author. To be quite honest, I don’t so much feel that the “business” side of the writing business is outside my comfort zone as much as, when I do that stuff, I feel like someone is shoving bamboo rods under my fingernails.

I really hate doing that stuff. So much so, that I avoid it as much as possible. For I’ve come to realize that if I pay too much attention to that part of things, I start to forget why I liked writing in the first place. In hearing over and over how much work is demanded to building a name before a publishing house will touch you, or singling yourself out from the e-mob on Amazon, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with writing. It’s easy to forget the bliss.

In the end, it’s not fame and fortune that really drives us to write — that’s what record producers, TV networks, and movie studios are for. It’s not the ease of the work — writing is just plain hard most the time if you’re doing it right. It’s not the collaboration — even when working with other writers, most the time you’re still working alone.

It’s the passion. The bliss. It’s the drive that won’t let you think of doing anything else, because you just can’t kick the addiction to the written word.

So, strive, make your goals, work hard on that dream to become the next Big Thing in books. But don’t let the work make you forget why you dreamed the dream in the first place. Don’t ever forget the bliss.

It Really Is All About Me

I’ve been seriously living the Writing Life for six years. Six incredibly long and impossibly short years. And the whole time, every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year, I had to decide whether or not I was going to write or do something else.
artist trading card by heidi2524 You can look anywhere and to anyone to be inspired and motivated. But ultimately it comes down to what you do with the time you are given.

My passion for telling stories is the reason I write. My passion to be a New York Times Bestseller is the reason I edit. My family and friends are very supportive. They accept and (mostly) understand this is part of who I am right now.

Sometimes I don’t.

And that’s when the weakest link in my chain forms a crack.

I’ve read a lot of author blogs and interviews and talked in person to some fabulous people. At some point, from what I can tell, all authors develop a crack in their chain.

Even Neil Gaiman.

Sometime I can spot weld the crack by writing – just get some words on the page, tell myself I only need 500 words on the page, and be pleasantly surprised by the time I stop typing, that there’s over 1000 words on the page.

Sometimes I let the link break, completely, and spend hours playing a computer game. This is my down time, I’m offline, unplugged, eating cheesecake before a pizza dinner and tomorrow is a new day. When tomorrow comes, I hook the chain together with a new link and decide I’m going to write.

James A. Owen said it best in Drawing Out the Dragons

If you really want to do something, no one can stop you. But if you really don’t want to do something, no one can help you.

Pushing On Through Adversity

This is a subject I know about. Adversity. While writing is a solitary sport, life–in all of it’s insidious forms–does its best to intervene. We all have different habits. Some of us start our day exercising, dragging-butt out of bed to get the kids up and off to school, checking emails or tending horses, but eventually, we have to plant our rears in the proverbial chair and start tapping the keyboard. Procrastination is only one agent of an enemy Steven Pressfield calls RESISTANCE. No matter what form it takes–TV, internet, email, video games, movies, spouses, friends or events we wish to go to–the simple fact is if we don’t write, we’re not writers. Some writers overcome this by setting and adhering to a strict schedule. Others by bringing their laptops (or recording devices) along with them everywhere and utilizing every available moment. Either method is productive, but if you plan a “writing time” and do nothing else but type during that time, lightning is more likely to strike. Pressfield calls this “being a pro.” Being a pro everyday–as opposed to a novice or amateur, who has only their amusement at stake–is what conquers the enemy: Resistance. It’s in all of us and surrounds us in everything that tempts us and everyone we speak to.

During the last year, I’ve nearly had my 15 year marriage fall apart, a business go under, began a new business, had my laptop quit on me in the process, lost friends and found out who my true friends were. All of this strangled writing to a near-complete stop for me. It seemed everything I loved was slipping away. As I said, ADVERSITY. Then, I realized something that seems opposed to the last post: “I have to pull myself out of this”. No friends, no fellow writers, no family members or co workers could do it. I had to. That is the moment when I had to make the decision–was I going to be a writer or a wannabe writer?

I write, as many others do, because I LOVE it. I gave up on doing it for the money a long time ago. Superstars taught me the most valuable of lessons (which should have been common sense) writers don’t just write one story, they WRITE! Pressfield punctuated it with a great explanation of how sometimes the people around you will recognize that you’re winning the war with resistance and be jealous that they cannot, and thus try to thwart you–no matter what it is you’re achieving. And that vulcanized my decision.

So, I bought a new laptop.

Point is, though support is great and networking is a necessity, You are ultimately responsible for getting it done.