The Writer’s Wheel 8/27/19: One Climb at a Time
In the early days of writing, your enthusiasm knows no bounds. You feel as though you could climb Mt. Everest. Everything is new, fresh, yielding to the mind. The words come easily, effortlessly. You write your novel, sure it’s the best thing since salsa and then, when you send it off, you wait with bated breath. When the response comes, you open the email with joy, sure you’re about to be praised to the moon. Yet, there is a form rejection. One after another, they continue to your email box. You cry, resist, after all, what do they know about your genius.
Then You Wise Up.
It seems this writing this was not as easy as you imagined. Worse, it gets harder as you go along. It’s either quit now or dig your heels in for what the future might hold. You buy some craft books, relearn what you were taught in class, listen to some podcasts, maybe even attend a conference or two. Still, you’re not quite getting it. Nothing seems to be working. You send out another submission, fear in your gut this time. More form rejections come. You consider quitting. Maybe writing isn’t for you.
That first small hill.
You open up your Word document. Stare at the page. This is not going to be easy. Heck, it might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. No, not really. Giving birth, losing a limb, a host of other things ply that list. Writing IS hard, don’t get me wrong. But there are things much, much worse. The problem with writing is getting what we see in our mind, down on the page. You have to learn to climb. Hill after hill. Mountain after mountain. It’s steep. It’s tough. But YOU CAN DO IT, if you put your mind to it.
It takes an order of humility, allowing others to see our work, and getting feedback. At first, that critique will hurt like hell but as you do more and more, you’ll see that it’ll help you grow as a writer. Point here: get a good cp or editor who knows what they’re talking about preferably in your genre. They’ll spot what needs fixing and you’ll get further ahead.
And then come the personal rejections which means you’re getting closer to that acceptance. They will give you up, keep you trying, even on the days you want to just chuck everything in the trash pile. Your day WILL come. If you stick with it. If you do the work. If you climb and climb.
Making a Career of It.
Do you want to write A book? Or many books? Do you plan on being in this for the long haul? Then you’ve got to take risks. Don’t stick with the tried and true. Put your own spin on things. Drive home your story in a way that breaks the mold on things. Now, I’m not saying be so unique that publishers don’t know what to do with you; but you’ve got to shuffle things in your creation till you get a story that goes the distance. Every story can take you further down that hill or mountain. Whether you go up or down depends on you.
Stay true to yourself. People like different, something done with style. Make them laugh, make them cry.
Don’t Lose Sight of the Valley.
Never get so sure of yourself that you can’t get knocked off that mountain. Watch your ego, watch how you treat others. No one likes a bully. Kindness goes far. Wouldn’t it be lovely to help others like J.K. Rowling or Stephen King do with their money? I’m reading a book about Habitant of Humanity right now and I think of President Jimmy Carter’s words: “Everyone thinks that you have to save the world. The truth is: you help one person. And hope that that one person helps another. And that person helps another and so on down the line. A domino effect.” Isn’t that a wonderful idea?
Climb those hills and mountains and remember who you are in the valleys. Hard to do, yes, but have faith in yourself. You can do anything.
Any tips for climbing? Have a great week, take care, and God bless!