Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Writerly Encouragement

Long, long ago, in a mindset far, far away, in the days before I was published, I used to lap up positive writing quotations and stick them on the wall by my computer. Once I'm published, I used to think, I'll be over this insecurity.

Well, guess what. That mindset isn't really far, far away. I still grab onto positive thoughts regarding writing and publication because it's never a sure thing, especially in the market right now. What is a great career now can change on a dime if you're not careful.

One of the best quotes I came across was from Anne Rice. I think I found it in either a Writer's Digest or maybe online somewhere. I didn't write the source down and I wish I had. At any rate, this is it:

"...[People who write have to] a)believe in themselves totally, b)work like demons and c)ignore the rejections. When you mail out a transcript, you are not turning in a paper for a grade. You can mail out a perfectly wonderful and publishable novel and then have it rejected 10 times. And the reason it's rejected is because you hit 10 different people who, for various reasons, don't want to work with this idea. You have to keep going. You have to never interpret rejection as a failing grade. They are not failing grades. they mean almost nothing...I kept writing and kept mailing out. My attitude was, 'I'm going to become a writer.' I was a writer."

And that's Anne Rice! Like her or not, you must admit the woman tells an amazing story and has done really, really well with it. The fact that, for me, this advice came from such a credible source was a real kick of inspiration.

I'm not sure how many writers read this blog, but if you're out there and wondering if your work will ever see the light of day, take heart! It's possible, it's doable, you just cannot, cannot quit. You hone the art, you perfect it, you polish and scrub it, you get objective, kind feedback, you work and work and work.

I love that billboard that has a pic of Edison on it. The quote is, "After the 10,000th try, there was light." Good thing he kept at it, or we'd all still smell like kerosene.


Jeri Gilchrist said...

Wow. What an excellent post. I know when I tried to write for the first time and seriously every book I have attempted from that very first page since, I tell myself I am no good at this. I can't do it and I want to throw in the towel.

If I hadn't had someone telling me I could do it, that she believed in me, I know I would have quit.

If I had quit, I would have missed out on so many wonderful opportunities, met many wonderful people, made some really special friends.

All the hard work and effort, all the tears and frustrations, are worth it.

You never want to look back in your life and wonder "What if.." or say, "If only..."

Love the quote by Anne Rice. She wrote one of my favorite poems. Thanks, Nancy.

Cheri J. Crane said...

I have a scrapbook I've entitled, "Opinions of Silly People." It contains all of the rejection letters I received before my first book was published. ;)

Somewhere along the line I read the adage: "A writer writes." This is very true. We write despite opposition, rejection, and obstacles. We write because we love the written word.

I write because it makes me feel better. Writing helped me deal with my father's tragic death. And on days when my heart is torn, or I'm upset about something, I find that I do my best writing. Go figure. ;)

Great post, Nancy. =D And Thomas Edison is one of my heroes, too.

Michele Ashman Bell said...

LOVE THIS! Such a great blog. You got right to the heart of it.

Gale Sears said...

Wonderful blog, Nancy! Over and over and over we need this encouragement! You go girl!