Here’s a cute lie that most people believe:
Writing is more than a skill, a pastime or a way of making a living. It is a vocation — like being a nurse or missionary. In order to commit yourself, and impress those that would read your work, you have to want to do it for nothing.
Indeed this is how many of us become writers — it’s something we feel compelled to do, whether asked to, required to or not!
Certainly I’ve noticed that when you first start dealing with publishers, your enthusiasm, commitment and talent are of primary concern…
Ever have those days when you’re muzzy and unmotivated?
You know how it is.
Sometimes you’re aware you should write, but you don’t feel like it.
And even if you did, you’re plagued by not knowing what to write about.
Or maybe you have an important scene or an article to write and you can’t find the necessary impetus to get you started.
Worse, you just can’t be bothered to write at all — it’s too hard to even contemplate.
What do you do when this happens to you?
If you write for a living, this can be especially troubling.
Nobody will ever miss something you didn’t write.
People don’t wish they could find a genius they are unaware of, hanker after a writer to inspire them, or wish they could find the book that hasn’t been written.
It’s the harshest reality a writer must face.
Nobody cares whether you finish your magnum opus — or gives a toss whether you work on it at all.
A book is nothing until it’s published — and even then, given the way things are, it’s unlikely to sell more than a few copies.
Funny, I write for a living. Have done for…
Are you struggling to make ends meet?
Do you have a burning desire to make a living as a writer but are stuck running the rat race, forever wishing and hoping something would happen to change your life?
This described me about eleven years ago.
I so desperately wanted to be a full time writer and had wanted that all my life.
I’d had some success, sure. A few books published, a couple of screenplays sold and more articles and plays written than I care to dwell over.
But still the BIG DREAM eluded me.
Between stints of blissful creativity…
The following article seemed to hit home with a lot of writers when I sent it to my current subscribers. It was originally called “The Medusa Syndrome” but many learned scholars and professors (yes — they get my newsletters too!) pointed out I’d made a slight ‘myth-take’ when it came to picking a mythological creature for my syndrome. I hope you enjoy it — and please, feel free to leave a comment of your own!
Have you ever noticed how you, as a writer, see-saw? For one heady moment you know you’re brilliant and then, later…
There’s a lot about living a writer’s life that is frustrating. Endless rewrites, rejections, angst, self-loathing — but not least is the sheer amount of time people take getting back to us.
Legacy publishers are the main culprits, literary agents second, with editors being marginally faster. The worst response — and the reason why the wait can be so hard — is no response at all.
I don’t understand industry professionals who simply choose not to respond at all. I regularly send out submissions to agents when I have a book idea. Strike rate? I’m lucky if 10% respond. …
When I was young I thought the whole point of growing up was to become wise.
I guess I thought that’s what school was about.
After all, we spend anything from ten to twenty years at the beginning of our lives learning stuff — presumably to help us become better adults, better human beings.
One thing that struck me as odd, at the time, was that people didn’t seem to get any wiser as they got older.
Quite the opposite.
The older people got, I noted, the more rigid, inflexible and closed they seemed to become.
To say this confused…
Probably the most consistent problem I’m asked to help with is how to sustain the momentum required to finish writing projects.
Writing a book is apparently the secret wish of 90% of the population — as though writing a book somehow validates us as humans — and perhaps makes us a little immortal.
But only around 5% of people will ever rise to the challenge — and even they will falter more times than not. Of these would-be writers, less than one percent will ever finish their books — and just to be depressing now, only a…
Writing is a vocation.
You may have to keep reminding yourself of this. Especially when you want everything — money, writing projects, publishing success — to go faster.
I read a guy’s blog this week where he talked about burn-out. He was so determined to get a novel finished he wrote 16 hours a day for about three weeks. He said that suddenly he couldn’t make out the words on the screen. He was looking at a foreign language and he realized his brain had shut down.
The experience frightened him so much that he stopped writing and…
Do you ever have those days when you don’t know what to write about?
And worse, do those days turn into weeks and months, even years?
You’re not alone.
I know this for a fact because people email me about it all the time.
According to most surveys, 80% of people feel they have a writer inside, someone who could — and thinks they should — write a book at some point in their lives.
80% is a huge statistic. …