Sunday, July 26, 2015

Why I keep writing by Leanne Dyck

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?