Monthly Archives: March 2010

Where Did Your Journey Begin?

Writers usually are the ones marching to the beat of their own drum. It took me a long time to realize that writing was always and will always be my passion, my calling, my sanity and the cause for my moments of insanity. I was a writer long before I knew or understood that is what I wanted to be. How did my journey begin? It started with a book.

Loving to read and loving to write are two different things. You can love to read and not love to write but you cannot love to write without loving to read. Reading is where my journey began. In school we were assigned book reports. Most of the kids hated the idea of having to read an entire book and then summarize it onto a poster board (this is how we did it in fourth grade). To me, this was exciting and fun. For my first report I chose the book titled Chain Letter. I proudly cut out letters from magazines to glue to my poster board so that they would mimic a real chain letter. I highlighted the box to the left and couldn’t wait to write out a synopsis. Nothing about the book report was work to me.

I can’t recall if I received an A and that says something. Writing is not about the rewards or A+ marks we receive it is about the process. The goal for most writers is recognition but recognition would not be half as sweet if there weren’t a few sour moments beforehand.

The series of actions that a writer takes before putting the pen to paper is where the beauty of the craft is. Think about everything you have noticed while taking your journey. The trees come alive, the birds sing louder, mannerisms become noticed and the world around you suddenly becomes a character waiting to be written about.

Becoming a writer does not guarantee anything other than a life well lived. We take the journey and hope for a good destination. But, if the destination leads us to a forest filled with wild creatures and loneliness, it’s just one more thing we can write about.

A friend once asked me if I really thought a writing career was lucrative. “Lucrative? No. Life changing, yes.” Not all of us will receive the same amount of success but all of us will successfully explore life in ways that most people would never even consider.

Are you a writer? How did your journey begin? What types of things do you notice that other people don’t?

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Filed under books, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, life, middle grade fiction, query, rejections, routine, Uncategorized, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing

Linking It All Together

A chain is a series of things connected or following in succession. The size of the chain depends on the amount of links added.

Often a writer is a writer sooner than they recognize that is what they are. Writers are the school-aged children scribbling stories into a notebook. She is the young girl skipping rope trying to come up with a new song to impress her friends. He is the wild boy on the back of the bus chanting lyrics to get a reaction. Early on, they probably are not aware that they are adding the first link to a chain that may end up being very long.

Ask any successful writer what the secret to their success is and chances are they will tell you, diligence, determination and patience.

Let’s break those down. Diligence is an earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken. You cannot just state that you want to be a writer. You have to become a writer. There are roads albeit different ones for everyone that a writer must first travel before reaching their destination. When I recognized that writing was my passion the first thing I did was educate myself on the craft. I purchased books on writing. I enrolled in writing courses. I participated in critique groups. I attended seminars and I began journaling. Hence, adding links to the chain.

Learning brings enlightenment which connects to determination. Once you believe in yourself you will want others to believe in you too. If you want agents and editors to take you seriously you have to show them that you took the time to learn how to set up a manuscript, you listened when they gave advice on query writing and you didn’t bad mouth them when they rejected you. Rejection should be used to strengthen the chain.
Never let rejection weaken your links. There would be no determination without rejection.

Every time a query is sent, a contest is entered, a manuscript is forwarded, your chain gets longer and you come to realize that you have learned patience.
A chain can be too short but never too long. If you are diligent, determined and patient you will discover that you have a series of things connected that have been linked together. If we are lucky, others will take their links and interlock them with ours and together we will form something that is worth its weight in gold.

Have you started a chain? What links have you added to your writing career?
Do you have suggestions on how to free your writing of kinks?

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Filed under Book Trailers, books, constructing, contests, creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, life, meme, middle grade fiction, query, rejections, routine, superstitions, Uncategorized, WISHES, writers, writing, Writing, Writing Contest

Superstition

I have always been the girl that is afraid to tell someone about the possibility of something happening before it actually is set in stone. I fear that once it is out there I will jinx myself and whatever I was hoping for will end up not happening.

Do you feel this way too?

Have you had an experience where you were super excited about something and you blabbed about it only to find out a short time later it fell through?

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Filed under creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, middle grade fiction, query, rejections, routine, superstitions, writers, writing, Writing

Lead the Way

What does it mean to be a leader? A leader follows no one. If you are a writer, you are familiar with the phrase “Think of something different.” When I come up with an idea I search it first to see if it has been used before. They say, “Write what you love and chances are that is what will sell.” If my idea has been used before I brainstorm until I am confident it is unique.
I don’t like to follow the path. I like to make a new path. My biggest competitor is myself. It is important to form relationships with other writers so that you can grow as a writer. But, if you are mimicking their style, their subject, their voice, you are selling yourself short.
I have come to the realization that in order to stand out you have to stand alone.
Once you leave a trail others will follow. Do you want to leave a trail or follow the person who discovered the trail?
I’d love to hear how others come up with ideas and what they do once they find that the idea has already been done.

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Filed under Book Trailers, books, constructing, contests, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, meme, middle grade fiction, query, rejections, WISHES, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

Never Give Up

Even when they tell you no,
Even if you doubt you could,
Even if you tried and failed,
Believe, Hope, Trust you would.

If you believe you can’t. You won’t.
If you believe you can. You will!
It may take a while but keep reaching,
Learn a lesson then keep teaching.

Everyone dreams of something.
Nobody wants to be nothing.
Never give up and you will see,
Yourself become what you were meant to be.

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Filed under BUCKET LIST, constructing, contests, creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, meme, middle grade fiction, query, rejections, WISHES, writers, writing, Writing, Writing Contest, Young Adult

A Master at Waiting

Writers dream. Writers dream big. Writers hope. Writers persevere. Writers wait. Writers wait. Writers wait.

What are they waiting for?

Every writer is waiting for something, whether it is a response to a query, an announcement of a contest winner, a release date, a book cover, or a comment on a blog. If nothing else, the writer becomes a master of the waiting game. We are waiting knowing there is a possibility that what we are waiting for might never come. Yet, still we wait.
When I was younger I read a piece by Erma Bombeck that stuck with me. The piece was titled The Journey. Our whole lives we are waiting for the next thing. When we are young we wait to grow up. When we grow up we can’t wait to go to college, buy an apartment, buy a house get married, and have children. Erma recognized that all of those things were wonderful but it was the journey to those things that was priceless.

I pose a question today. If someone told you they knew without a doubt what would happen with your writing career would you want to know? Or would you rather continue the journey and hope that all of your waiting pays off in the end? Rejection builds character without it, the journey would be boring.

I will continue to wait, it’s what I do.

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Filed under books, contests, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Giveaway, meme, middle grade fiction, query, rejections, routine, Uncategorized, WISHES, writers, writing, Writing, Writing Contest, Young Adult