Friday, April 10, 2009

Continuing the Countdown...

Okay, I admit. Math is not my thing but you'd think I'd be able to count correctly. Somewhere I miscounted but I think I'm back on track so...

Nineteen days till the release of RESCUE ME! Woohoo!

The countdown is now in the teens. Wow, this is getting serious. Concentration has become very difficult, which is a huge problem because I have three books due this year. Got to get back on track, so after this post, I'm shutting down everything but my work in progress and writing. Really I am...promise.

The other day I was thinking about my writing journey; what enhanced it and what stalled it. Here are a few of both you might be interested to know. 

First, what stalled it:

1) Self-doubt. As humans we all struggle with this...some more than others. However, as a writer, I think it can be more prominent and possibly more corrosive. When you're questioning yourself, doubt yourself, the creative process can be destroyed. Believe me, I know.

2) Writing what I thought would sell as opposed to what I wanted to write. I'm not saying you shouldn't pay attention to the market, because you most definitely have to. However, you can't let that be your primary focus or guiding force when you're writing. If you do, it will show. Words are just words if there's no passion, no true feeling, behind them. Always, always write what you would love to sit down and read.

3) Allowing others to destroy your dream. This kind of goes back to self-doubt but not. See, everyone has an opinion. EVERYONE. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're right. And even if they are right, you can't let other people's opinions count for more than your own. That includes contest scores and comments, critiques and rejections. Take the information, filter it by pulling out the things that resonate with you. And throw the rest away...far away. Because if you don't, it'll pop up when you least expect it. Believe me, I know.

Okay, so those are some of the things that stalled me. Now here are some of the things that enhanced my writing and I believe led me to publication:

1) Support. Yes, I had a lot of it. Still do. Sure there were days when someone I loved or admired would say something that indicated I was wasting my time. But I knew those words stemmed from concern for me. There was love behind them. I knew they truly wanted me to succeed. That support helped tremendously.

2) Working in a bookstore. If you read my bio, then you know I left my career after eighteen years and started writing a year or so after that. What I haven't mentioned...and I don't know why, is that I worked in a bookstore for over two years before I moved back to Alabama. When I learned a Borders Bookstore was opening up just a few miles from where I lived in Indiana, I got excited. What writer doesn't love a bookstore? This was right up my alley. I had the privilege of helping set up the bookstore. There's a term for that but it escapes me now. Anyway, it was a wonderfully enlightening experience. Being around all those books and being around people who loved books as much as I do was a true pleasure. And I learned so much about what happens on the other side. Working there gave me insight most authors never get to see. 

3) Anger. Yep, I got angry. How did anger enhance my writing? Well, remember all those critiques, contest comments and rejections? They really ticked me off. Of course they hurt and yes, they fed that self-doubt I battled daily. But they also made me more determined. I'm an incredibly stubborn person. Yes, I'm a Taurus. Also, if you knew my family, you'd see I come by it quite naturally. We're just made that way. I knew that my self-doubt could defeat me, but I was also stubborn enough to keep on writing, trying to improve. Taking on a "I'll show them" attitude can be quite motivating.

Didn't mean to go on like that, but thought you might be interested in a more personal glimpse of my writing journey.

Hopefully the blogger problems I had earlier this week have been fixed. If so, I'll come back tomorrow for another countdown update.

Wishing everyone a most blessed Good Friday.

No comments: