It’s been a busy two weeks. Started a new job, commenced some volunteer work with adult migrants, am half-way to losing my voice and as much as I like Sydney I am missing my family. I read this great post by Meg Dowel in A Writer’s Path about why we often given up on our dreams, or at the very least, are tempted to. We get caught up in our lives and we don’t have time for dreams.
Like many posts I read this one appeared to be about writing and ended up being about life. Meg in her article makes some very relevant points. I am at a pivotal point in my writing. Having spent endless hours improving (I hope) my manuscript so I can offer a better product and go to print I am not so much afraid of the outcome but more wishing I hadn’t started in the first place. I know, right? Nuts.
But, come on, how many of you out there have started a project, and then wished you had stayed in your hole? I am betting there are a lot more of you than I can count on both hands. We all want to be more than we are. It’s about wanting to follow a passion and succeeding in a task, challenge or goal you have set for yourself. It’s hard work, sometimes too hard so of course you will be attracted, tempted by reasons not to continue, and there are reasons.
Boo Hoo, no-one cares: The most painful reason is the one where you feel no-one else cares. Meg has that at number one. I know why. “It’s lonely when not even your friends or family seems to show an appropriate level of enthusiasm for your work.” People get busy. That’s the reality of life, and the truth is that this is your mission, not theirs. If you want to get to your destination then ‘suck it up, buttercup’ and just get on with it. Pretend the whole world is onside and maybe people will believe it and climb aboard the train. I would.
Negative reviews and/or criticism: This can upset our equilibrium. However you put yourself out there, so you have to take the consequences. Meg says you “can’t get mad just because someone doesn’t have all nice things to say about your work. It’s just not how the editorial process flows.” You can however learn to distinguish the helpful comments and let those polish your work.
Reminders of how hard the world of that profession is: There are people out there who will remind you about the competition you face in your choice of profession, especially in writing. Yes, it’s true and temptation rides us hard to step away but then we will never know, will we? I was afraid to blog at the beginning. I can’t think why as nearly two years into it has meant I have come across so many wonderful people. It has been the best of experiences.
I remind myself constantly that I am doing something I love and it doesn’t matter what other people do and say. The most important thing is to maintain an open mind to learning new things and trying to do better. There are a wealth of helpful sites out there to make things easier. I have just found two more, The Writer’s Path and Writers helping Writers. Both these sites have some great information on just about every subject, and especially editing. I even found a crutch words list (overused words) and just seeing these words in front of me has made a difference. I am guilty as charged.
If your willingness to improve is there in whatever you choose then satisfaction follows. Following your heart and doing something you love is amazing in itself. This is what I meant about it being about more than writing. We should listen to our hearts and stay positive, and I think if we do the support will grow. I think you have to dance as if you have that audience. I firmly believe tickets to the performance will come when the time is right.
Time to go but I would like to leave you with some books I have totally loved over this last week or so. These two authors have given me so much pleasure that I just had to share. The romance has been hot, the action enthralling and the writing just what it should be to keep a reader captive. All of the books have been part of a series that has improved with every book. You all know I am an avid reader (currently participating in the Goodreads Reading challenge for 2017 and am pretty close to my 150 target), and trust me at times, series can seriously lose their momentum. Not these authors and not these books but I warn you they are are about magic and if you not a fan then these books may convert you. I have given you the link to Amazon just in case. But, if I were you I would start with Book 1 in both cases.
Thank you to Ilona Andrews and Thea Harrison, for being magical magicians of the written word. I needed your wonderful escapism this week to remind me to keep going.
Wildfire: A Hidden Legacy Novel
Your point about sometimes wishing you had never started a project got my attention. For me, it’s not so much a matter of wishing I hadn’t started, but regretting that I didn’t get more help from the start, to avoid going down the wrong path.
I feel that too but sometimes what we do is directed by our circumstance. We can’t change the past but we can certainly make tomorrow better and that’s what really matters. Great to hear from you.
Oh yes, it’s so easy to get distracted by what others are doing, compare ourselves, and forget why we took on our goal in the first place. I also think we can fall into the assumption that if is the ‘right path’ for us it should be easy.
I’m interested in that crutch word list….I would be guilty too. 😉
Will send you a copy. It’s basic words but be prepared to be driven crazy when you realise how often you do it anyway.