Monday, June 18, 2012

Writing: In It for the Long Haul

I’m finally shaking the cloudy brain caused by my bout with bronchitis this past week. Happy to be on the other side of that, let me tell you. I hate being sick at all and it always seems like when I do it, I do it big. 

As many of my writing friends are apt to say: Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. If you come into the writing life thinking you'll have agents falling all over your writing (a first draft, even!) or that you know everything about the industry, you'll be in for a rude awakening.

Nothing in life is easy or free and writing is no different. In fact, I would place it near the top of most difficult non-dangerous professions. Most writers don't experience overnight success but they do receive many rejections. The key is to move past those, not take them personally and continue to improve your work. 

I'm struggling right now and I'll readily admit it. The opening to both my novels has received mixed feedback and it's frustrating. However, I've been in the business long enough (even as a pre-published author) to realize it would be easy to just hang it up now. Enough is enough already, right? 

But to do that would be to turn my back on a dream I've had since I was in 3rd grade. To give up would be to surrender a talent I believe God has given me. We all struggle with emotional ups and downs in our writing, but each time we fall, we have to be willing to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and fight another day.

That's what I'm doing and will continue to do. I'm certain fiction will have a place in my writing life and I'll do what is necessary to improve it, land an agent, and hopefully (eventually!) a book deal of some kind. What if no book deal ever transpires?

The writing will continue because I have a lot of stories to tell and not all of them are fictional. Just imagine the stories encompassing biliary atresia and other liver diseases. My own family's walk through this and transplant, which I'm currently documenting. And so many more ideas. 

You see, writers don't just get one or two ideas, sell a book and then retire to live lavishly on the riches those books have accumulated. You've got to be realistic and you've got to be tough. As for me, I'm in it for the long haul. Are you?

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