Let’s face it, this business is tough. Any industry that involves the arts: singing, dancing, acting or writing requires a lot of fortitude, rejection, general malaise and mayhem.
Case I point: I recently went through what most authors would define as a DREAM COME TRUE scenario – I had a publishing offer!!! Normally when you dream of this, you imagine lots of screams of joy, hot tears and cart-wheels, but instead, it was marred by indecision, sleepless nights and strife (for reasons I will not go into here)…
Ultimately, I turned it down. But I also read a post from literary agent, Sarah LaPolla last month about the virtue of patience. It was a wonderful success story that was at least 4 years in the making that ended in a wonderful book deal for her client!
So – in honor of perseverance and optimism, I encourage you to read it here:
Also, because I love reading quotes and stories from other successful writers to placate my sorry self – I bring you the first installment of “WRITERS TALKING SHOP”. Hopefully this will inspire and motivate us all to keep going and to do the one thing that is ultimately in our control: KEEP WRITING. And never stop. If it’s the one thing you are meant to do, you owe it to yourself to keep going. The only failure is quitting too soon.
FROM “WE WANTED TO BE WRITERS” & “WHY WE WRITE”
SANDRA CISNEROS: “You need to do whatever you can to keep the work going. It helps if you have a trust fund; it helps if you can do without a lot of sleep. But you have to be OBSESSED; it’s not discipline, but obsession.”
JOY HARJO: “Keep the faith. There is a larger shape of reason & meaning, much larger than our small human minds.”
ANTHONY BUKOSKI: “Really, there’s no mystery: one either finds the strength to persist as a writer or one quits. No one cares either way whether you write or don’t, so my belief is a person has to make people care. How? By keeping at the writing, by NOT quitting. My approach isn’t logical. This said, I proceed on assumption in the end, I will succeed…things must get better.”
DOUG UNGER: “We are in the age of the ‘debut’ novel…skews culture in a wrong direction, part of ‘false marketing’ that’s been created around fiction; the writer’s career depends on their debut…The obscene consumerism allowed to take over the artistic process and kill off anything that’s original or alive in writing.
I believe that is how writers make it – by sticking out in the cold, then getting lucky enough that readers find their work. Readers find the good work, the work that lasts, and that’s all that matters. The rest if all about a bunch of business people figuring out how to make the most money off of the writer’s art so they can…what? Buy a bigger house or private golf course?
No self-respecting literary artist hoping to become a great writer should give a shit about any of that. None of that has anything to do with writing well. Writers should work on their stories, novels, poems, essays…Make them as perfect as possible, make their art. Nothing else matters.”
WALTER MOSLEY: “People who fail at writing are the people who give up because of external pressures, or because they didn’t get published in a certain amount of time. Writing is a long-term investment. If you stick with it, you’ll reach the level of success that you need to.”