"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." ~Beverly Sills
Last week, I finally finished the first set of revisions for my latest WIP (Work in Progress). This book has been my personal 'White Whale', as I've struggled through every phase. Finishing the first draft took forever. The rewrite seemed to drag on even longer. Why the struggle? Two reasons, one because this was a new genre for me, complete with new rules and a more complex plot. The greatest reason though was more personal. This book is my least commercial. Not to say I've veered off into literary genius (unless you want to offer me a contract in which case I'll say anything you damn well please).
When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work. ~George Bernard Shaw
While others I'd known within my writing community chided me for not wanting to write 'hot' romance, it felt more like a repetitious exercise than an inspiration. Which led me to a dramatic turn into suspense without a speck of romance involved. I chose to venture into the paranormal territory yet, because of my own background as an astrologer who studied mythology, theology and metaphysics, my choice was to incorporate more realism into the world I created. Into the plot, I have woven my own thoughts and perspective, peppering the story with musings by my lead character.
"I'm not funny. What I am is brave." ~Lucille Ball
Sharing some thoughts about this with my husband, he asked, "Are you sure you want to go in that direction?" Which really is an excellent question but logic dictated I follow my heart for this round.
"Why not?" I said with a shrug. "My commercial books wowed readers but didn't cause a ripple with Those Who Matter in the publishing world."
I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ~Pablo Picasso
Again, two reasons emerge. One is clear, perhaps by writing a book that reflects me, I'll find my way into publication. Even more importantly, to continue on with my writing, I need inspiration. I need motivation. In other words, if I'm not pleasing others, I need to please myself.
You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble
No matter what goals you have for fulfillment, there is work involved, along with a need for inexhaustible patience and a determination to continue on—to find that rainbow no matter how often the clouds appear gray.
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
"There's only one true teacher on the path of becoming a writer—experience." –Chiron O'Keefe
Each book written has taught me more about the process of writing than any of the craft books I've pored over. Here's the wisdom I've garnered:
First and foremost, to be a writer, you must write. You have to make mistakes in order to learn what works. You must take chances in order to stretch and enhance your ability. You must risk failure in order to succeed. You must make sacrifices whether they be major inconveniences or minor considerations. You must be determined, thick-skinned, and utterly passionate about your writing.
"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." ~Thomas Fowell Buxton
"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second." ~William James
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Outside my window, sunshine splashes over the lawn, promising a hint of spring on the way. Yet I'm all too aware that others are still warming their nearly frost-bitten hands and yearning desperately for a change of weather. This is the way reality works. Just as some might find success while others are still shoveling snow by way of endless queries. What we all must do is remember, those blossoms will bloom… someday. In the meantime, we must continue to pull the weeds, plant the seeds, and put up with that huge bag of stinky manure in order to yield a harvest.
Here's to another week bursting with potential! How will you be planting your seeds?
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