Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Don't Be Discouraged

If you’re so discouraged you want to quit writing, you need to read what agent Kristin Nelson said on her blog last week:

“Where a writer is now is not where he/she might be a year from now. I’ve been to a lot of conferences over the years and have heard many a keynote speech from hugely bestselling authors. In their keynotes, they often will relay a story where an editor or an agent told them it was hopeless—to never write again. But here they are, X many years later on the bestseller list. Uh-huh. Where you are now is not where you may be in the future. Why should I discourage you if writing is your passion? If you’re planning to stick with it, then you’ll work on craft until you get it or until you discover that the cost of getting it isn’t worth it to you.”

Granted, some folks will never learn the craft. Just like some people simply can’t learn to sing. It’s just not in their genes. However, for the rest of us, we have to keep plugging away. If we haven’t had the light bulb moment yet, where all is suddenly clear, we will. The point is to not give up. Keep taking those writing courses, reading how-to-write books, and having your work critiqued by fellow writers. Who knows? You might be a best selling author one day. Isn’t that worth all this pain? I think so.

9 comments:

  1. True. I've found most people who aren't really all that talented simply don't really have the passion for it in the first place. Most of us who write have been reading voraciously most of our lives. We've picked up certain elements of the craft almost by osmosis. You can't HELP but know how to properly punctuate dialogue after reading 4,000 fiction novels! To me, if someone hasn't even grasped the basics of spelling and grammar, chances are they aren't really meant to be a writer in the first place, to be honest. There are some basics you just either have or don't...and people who don't will probably fizzle out quickly. To persevere in this field you have to REALLY have a love for it because it's tough at times.

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  2. The keynote speaker at the conference I attended this past weekend said the same thing. It's SO encouraging to hear that!

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  3. I agree. It's easy to hear Stephenie Meyer's time frame and think we don't have what it takes if we're still working on our novel after six months or six years.

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  4. Great post! It takes time to develop the craft - and that's a totally separate issue from publishing. Newbies tend to mix the two, as if they're sold together in the same package. I believe they're related, yet comprise two completely different tasks.

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  5. Lovely inspirational words. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Excellent post and just what I needed to hear! While the fast selling authors are inspiring, it is the stories of the long and winding journey that encourage me most.

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