Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Writing Tenacity

Kim Mullican left a great comment on my last post regarding what keeps you writing through highs and lows.  In it she touched on something that was on my mind while writing that post.  So I’ll pose another question to you all.
Is it the positive affirmations that keep you going when you’re teetering on the edge, or is it the refusal to accept the negative ones?

Let’s be honest, we’ve all had those days when considered quitting.  Not writing, necessarily, because most of us couldn’t stop that if we wanted to.  However writing and pursuing publishing are two completely different ballgames.
I write because I have these stories in my head and the only way to get them out is to, well, get them out.  So why do I pursue publication?  That answer’s probably a little different for each of us.  First of all, I love these characters so much that I want others to know them and love them too.  Second, I’ve spent a LOT of hours on this writing, I might as well try to earn a monetary reward of some sort for it.  Third, I’m not a crazy person who hears voices carrying on lives in my head if it’s bound and bought, I’m an author instead.

Praise from people who love a story of mine is fabulous, yes, it is.  However it’s not those wonderful words of acceptance which make me say ‘No, I will not give up my publishing quest’ when the querying journey gets rough.  It’s actually the handful of people who are banking on the odds not being in my favor that keep me going.  When someone tells you, ‘Well, what are the odds, right? Like one in a million.’  Something in you will not let you rest until you’ve sent out that millionth query and become that one.  Quitting is proving them right.  Quitting is saying, yeah I write, but it’s just a silly hobby that has no value. 
So for all the people out there who’s goal it is to prevent a writer from becoming an author, let me give you a little advice.  You’d be best to keep those feeling to yourself, because it’s your words which will eventually fuel their success.  There are a lot of reasons to give up on a publishing quest, proving you wrong is one of the greatest reasons to hang on through the rough waters of submissions.

So, now, how about you?  Are there people who know about your dreams and eagerly wait to see them crushed?  Do they tear you down, or give you that fighting tenacity that every writer needs?


kmullican said...

My last comment didn't post *shakes fist at interwebz*

Let's try this again, shall we?

Moi a muse? Would you look at that? ;)

On a serious note, I am one of those crazy people with dialog running through my head, but I'm okay with it.

I AM a writer who just happens to have a day job selling cars FOR an asshat. But it pays the bills.

I gauge my success on entertaining readers. If I can earn a living doing it, then BONUS...because then it will afford me the ability to write more.

I'm fortunate enough to have a family that believes in me. That helps.

You will be successful. And for the asshats in your life, you can hide the middle finger in your cover art just for them!

Jennifer Hillier said...

I'm fortunate in that nobody has tried to tear me down... at least not to my face.

I did have a family member who was extremely skeptical when she found out I wrote novels, who made it clear that she thought novel-writing in general was a silly, impractical endeavor.

But ultimately, with folks like this, you have to consider the source. Do the opinions of this person really matter to you? Though she's related to me, her opinion doesn't really matter.

She doesn't read books.

Julie Geistfeld said...

Thanks for the comments! It's always interesting to hear how all our writing journeys happen, and what keeps us moving forward.