Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Building a writing career

First off, thank you so much to everyone who commented yesterday on my writing issues to share that they have had some of the same issues. And for all of the support you threw my way. Let me just say that, "YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!!!"

This is a quote from James Michener that I really love. I thought it appropriate given my weekend. I must remember this is one big reason why I do this:

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” :)

I have always wanted a writing career. I decided that (for sure) on this past Sunday. After my near-death experience.> (Because I nearly deleted all my stories.) I really, really want this. It's my dream job. :) Now, there are some things that I know I have to do in order to have my dream job. I have to write and write well. I have to read and read a lot. I don't want to lose sight of who I am. I want my voice to shine through. Sometimes we can read so much that we might start to sound like a lot of different authors all mixed together. The structure and language seems like it came from another book. I read somewhere to consider your favorite sentences in the book as the first ones to lose.

Also, writers write for the readers. You've heard that before. If my writing sounds sparkling and clear to me, I have to wonder about it. I take a cold, hard look at it. Because even though it sounds and reads great to me, I want my readers to be able to hear the creek flowing and the owls hooting.

I'm in this for the long haul. Writing is much harder to do than it sounds. I know it isn't easy. Believe me, I know that. I'm prepared for the ups and downs. But I want it. I can taste it. I can feel it. I wanna BE it. An author.

How about you? Can you taste it? Do you have anything to add to my list of things that I need to do in order to see my dream fulfilled? :)


  1. Just enjoy every single moment of it!

  2. Even the down times. Because it made me realize how much it means to me. :)

  3. Robyn, I went through a dark, dark time recently. One of the things that finally struck a chord within me was this quote by John Maxwell. "Successful and unsuccessful people do not cary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential."

    I'm glad you didn't die off. We would have revived you somehow!! Think of it as a journey, and in all journeys, there are bumps in the road, but we get past them with the wonders of our imagination.

  4. I love the roller coaster part of it. If it was all up, I wouldn't feel the thrill of my stomach flip-flopping on the way down. I never know what will happen next...and that makes it fun.

  5. Writing? Please! Aren't there better things in life??? Kidding!!

    I must argue that I don't write for my readers, I write for me. I figure once an agent offers representation, then the editors and publishers get involved, I'll make the changes (well, some changes) they request in order to please the fickle readers of the Universe.

    For me, trying to always think what will attract of reader stifled my writing. It's only when I wrote what I truly wanted to write that I truly, truly found myself loving, loving, loving what I was writing . . . okay, there was some major adoration for my other stuff . . . but writing solely for me, no thought of an audience, no thought of what people might think, was an especially freeing experience.

    Yes, I know, we must, at some point, consider our audience. I think it is when we don't consider our audience, when we consider just ourselves, then we truly write as we are meant to write.

    I think the main ingredient for success is . . . patience (check out my blog tomorrow!!). If we don't have patience, then success is going to be an elusive entity, a fairy tale we tell our children before they go to bed at night, or something else that just doesn't happen. If we rush our writing, our path to publication, then we are cheating ourselves . . . and our potential readers.


    p.s. I'm glad you didn't delete your stuff. : )

  6. Kristi, Yes the wonders of our imagination can take us anywhere. To places unknown to us. And I will write no matter what. Because I love the swirl and swing of the words as they tangle with human emotions. :)

  7. Amy, I hope your family are all feeling better. And it IS a roller coaster that I want to ride. :)

  8. Patience and persistence. And more patience. And more persistence. And remembering if you quit you'll never succeed.

  9. I've considered myself a writer for a long time, and it feels great. I think I respect myself more as a result. I'm excited to see you move through your journey, Robyn. One thing for your list: be able to take some rejection.

  10. Scott, I agree we write for ourselves, but when you revise and revise, getting that MS ready to show to potential agents, you are writing for the reader.

    And yes, patience is a main ingredient that I forgot to mention. Without patience I would have thrown it all out long ago. Patience is key, especially when the writing isn't going as we believe it should.

    Rushing is something I couldn't do if I tried. Though when a writer heads too fast into querying they are rushing. I've seen it happen a lot.

    I'm glad I didn't delete my stuff too. I would have been angst-ridden. :)

  11. PJ, persistence and patience. Yes, those are two qualities that we writers MUST have. Without them we're doomed, I tell you. Doomed! :)

  12. Davin, Ah! The being able to take rejection part of the equation. Yup! That actually has to be front and center. I remember my first taste of someone telling me what was wrong with my picture book, which I thought was brilliantly written. "OUCH!" I say, "OUCH!" It hurt. But it set me on the path I travel today. Without that persons honest opinion I may still be trying to find a home for that manuscript which was not as good as I thought. Matter of fact, it was awful. Lisa Michaels, my old critique pal, if you're out there I gotta say, "Thank you!" :)

    Thanks Davin. :)

  13. I know how it is - I had my own 'near death experience' a few weeks ago. And now, I know I want to be an author - a career writer, more than anything...as much as I want to be a mom. It's so cool to know that there are other career-minded, serious writers out there with the heart and guts to make it happen. Thanks for sharing this piece of you...

  14. Chantal, thank you. And it's going to take heart and guts. I believe we WILL make it happen. :) Thanks for stopping by.

  15. It all sounds like wonderful advice to me. Thank you so much. The only thing I would add is preserverance because you definitely won't suceed at anything if you don't keep at it.

  16. Ah! To persevere. Sounds like it's easier said than done, Linda. But I'm with you my pal! I shall persevere. If it doesn't kill me. :)


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