Sunday, July 26, 2015

How-to live a dream

The following was inspired by Alex Cavanaugh's article (link). 
Especially, '[T]hat time won't come if we think it's the end and we give up.'
and Vaughn Roycroft's article (link). 
Especially, 'One truth I have found to be unfailing is that I am inspired and heartened by my fellow writers.'

photo by Leanne Dyck

An author friend recently told me that she'd given up submitting to publishers because she'd realized having her work published was an unattainable goal. She said, "It's like a one in a million chance. Why bother?"

That made me consider my own chances. Where they, slim to none and slim has just left town? If she couldn't make it, what made me think that I could? 

I'm no more talented than she is, I told myself. And the way she spoke, it sounded like she was a lot smarter.

The writing game felt like a big joke. I felt like a big joke. 

After all, I've been working hard for almost five years. I've sent out over 100 submissions. If something was going to happen it would have happened by now. 

The universe is trying to tell me to give up,  I told myself. Maybe I should listen.

I wallowed in self-pity for a while. I thought about jumping off this ride...


Why didn't I?


I realized, writing is like breathing. Even if that big hand doesn't drop out of the sky and pick me up, I am still going to write. I have to.

Other people have faith that I will succeeded. Some people are even counting on my success. 

They can't all be wrong, I told myself. I can't let them down.

And so, I have to continue.

Writing fulfills me, like nothing else can. 

When I dream of my favourite place, I think of myself at my computer keyboard or on my balcony reading (and studying) a good book.

I. Am. A. Writer.

And so I move forward.

Instead of dwelling on rejection I will focus on the journey. 

That publisher read my writing and it wasn't for them. Where can I send my writing to next? What new publishing house can I find? 

There is a thrill to combing through the Internet in search of a publisher. It's amazing what you can learn; what interesting people you can meet.

Other authors may obtain success before me.

When that happens I will celebrate their success. We are all in the same game. We live in abundance. There is more than enough for everyone.

When that happens I will learn from their journey. How did they obtain success? What lessons can I learn from them?

Write. Submit. Revise. 

There's nothing better.

The Rainbow Connection as sung by muppet, Kermit the Frog

Next Monday: Book review:  Sing A Worried Song by Canadian mystery author William Deverell

Sharing my author journey...

Be careful what you say to an author because you may just inspire them.
For example...

I meet with my writing group last Friday. I'd asked for their feed back on another picture book manuscript. (By now you're probably thinking that that's all I write. But I write for adults too. Honestly, I do.) I'm very proud of my picture books. They stem from many happy years caring for and about children.
My fellow group member's comments helped me polish my manuscript. They pointed out spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. They made comments like, "I like this story", "Lovely!", "It's sweet".
But one comment stopped me in  tracks.
(Yes. Again.)
"You know, Leanne," they began, "most authors who write for children are women. And so naturally their protagonists are girls. But boys need to find themselves in books too. You should write more books with boy protagonists."
Challenge issued.
I thought to a children's literature course I took from the University of Winnipeg. I recalled my professor making a similar comment -- that there needed to be more children's books with boy protagonists.
I went home, clicked my pen and accepted the challenge. Words flowed onto the page. Soon I had another story for children -- this one had a boy protagonist. I can't wait to share it with my writing group. Who knows where their comments will lead me next?


Mark said...

Like you I love writing and have to write.
I have almost completed my first novel but the purpose of writing it was not fame, recognition or money. It was just the joy of watching a story unfold and proving to myself I could do it. I may never submit it to anyone but I still enjoyed doing it.
I too write a blog that started off for family and friends and no has a quarter of a million visits a year. Again I did it because I enjoyed writing and having fun with words. It is nothing special and is for a pretty niche market but it is good to know that others also enjoy what you have written.

Darlene said...

Oh yes, keep writing. It will happen! And yes, there needs to be more young male main characters. As writers we do get our ideas from what people say and do. It was a child at a school I was doing a reading at that suggested I write about Amanda in Alberta!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad my post inspired you!
It won't happen if we give up. That's a given. And if we aren't enjoying the journey, we won't enjoy the destination.

Leanne Dyck said...

Congratulations on your popular blog, Mark. A quarter of a million visits a year is very impressive. And best wishes for your latest writing project. I hope you continue to enjoy writing.

Leanne Dyck said...

: ) Thank you, Darlene. I appreciate your kind support.
That's so cool that Amanda in Alberta was inspired by a child's comment.
May children continue to offer you wonderful ideas and may you continue to enjoy reading to them.

Leanne Dyck said...

I think - 'if we aren't enjoying the journey, we won't enjoy the destination - are very wise words, Alex. Because the destination is writing another book and that book leads to another and to another and to another. I can't think of a better future. Thank you for your comment.

ShirleyHS said...

Leanne, writing is hard work. And publishing can be even harder. I feel with you. And I've been there too, especially with the weekly discipline of writing blog posts. I think the secret has to be an inner one. We keep going so long as our spirit needs written expression. But we don't persist just because we started out; we need to test our devotion sometimes to see if it's still there. Blessings on the journey.

Leanne Dyck said...

I appreciate your wisdom, Shirley. And I agree.
I think there is a lot to be gained by asking yourself why.
I do have a goal. I want to establish my writing career. The need to make this goal a reality today is were the stress comes in.
I've been writing since I was a teenager (or maybe younger) and I can't image living my life without a pen.
My question: Do I want to be a published author?
My answer: Yes.
My question: Why?
My answer: Because imagining my author career fills me with joy.
Bottom line: I need to develop patience. And I'm working on it. : )

Vaughn Roycroft said...

Must be serendipity for you to have sent me this link today, Leanne. Being reminded that others believe in me is the perfect medicine for my current writing doldrums. Thanks so much. Onward, together!

Laurie Buchanan said...

Leanne — I love it:

"I realized, writing is like breathing. Even if that big hand doesn't drop out of the sky and pick me up, I am still going to write. I HAVE TO."

Leanne Dyck said...

Absolutely, Vaughn. Onward! Write on!

Leanne Dyck said...

: ) Thank you, Laurie.