Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Been awhile but I had an insight that I thought I'd share...

You know I just rewrote this first sentence.  I started with a cliche and that is never advisable.

So instead, let me say this to you all who are taking the time to read this. There is more to writing than just sitting down and carving out a story. Now some of you might be thinking I'm talking about outlining or revising or editing or some other crap.

But I'm not.

There is way more to being a writer than just writing.  First of all you have to read.  Like all the time!  Read as much as you can. Read magazines, short stories, novels, anything! The more you read the better. I like to keep two or three books going at a time.  That way if I get sick of one I can pick up another, this is why ebooks have changed my life.  I carry an entire library with me in the palm of my hand. I would recommend though that you at least keep a book going that is the same genre as what your writing.  I know it seems silly, but it keeps me in the mood.

But that's not all.

No, I don't just read and write, I also spend a great deal of time trying to get my work published.  I'm nobody after all.  I'm easy to overlook.  Let's say you're ready 150 short stories on a dead line, wouldn't you skim through and look for authors you enjoy?  It's only natural.  The next cut is to look for genre's you enjoy. So as an unpublished author, getting your work in front of a big audience is a challenge. So half the time I write, I stop the thing I love doing, to do the thing I like least.

Selling myself.

This is not easy and never has been for me.  I was the youngest and I was always pudgy.  So my confidence is not all that high.  And make no mistake, your stories are you.  They are your blood and they are your sweat and they are every bit your tears.  I think my stuff is good, some of it is even great.  But to sell that to another, I have to make them believe it and that is the greatest mystery of the publishing world.  There is no panacea.  Oh you can waste hundreds of dollars buying books that supposedly have a sure fire method to get published and in the local book stores, but none of them will get you there.  For every J.K Rowling who landed an agent with her third or fourth letter, there are an army of Stephen Kings who submitted thousands of stories only to have them soundly rejected.

But keep trying.  It's our only defense.  Remember, the publishers and the agents are burnt out workers just like you and me.  Remember, three people passed on Harry Potter!  You have to keep writing and keep submitting, it's the only thing you can do.  The only thing you have power over.

Which leads me to my last thing point I want to make.  Writing is relentless.  It's monotonous and it's tedious.  It is the very last thing you want to do after the day you had, but it's the only thing you can think about.  Writers have to write or they begin to drive themselves and the people they love crazy.

So save your marriage or relationship and spend a few hours writing every day.

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