Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Challenge - Beating the Odds

Last night I was at my newly formed writing group. We are meeting rather sporadically but I think that will change as we find the rhythm that works for us. We are four quite different humans and writers but we seem to jog along together in a helpful way. All good.
One of us was in a funk last night. Distraught about the lack of time to write and awash in the futility thing that overwhelms all of us from time to time - believing that the courtship of agents and publishers was beyond the capabilities possessed and 'what's the point when there is quite enough good fiction out there'. I'm sure for most of us I don't need to say more for you to get the drift.

I spoke up like the Pollyanna I can be (I'm sure to the irritation of others but there...) and told this person of my own trials and tribulations of finding my dear sweet patootie. How I despaired and read that the chances of a woman over forty finding a relationship was as likely as winning the lottery or being hit by lightening. And that I was tall (nearly six feet) bossy and picky wasn't in my favour either. But I did it. I kept sending out arrows of love through the long lonely years of no-special-guydom. People told I should give up, that my longing was being read as neediness, what did I need a man for, didn't I have good friends, nice kids, a spiritual practice and a job? But I ignored their pleas for me to recall my sanity and settle for the rich life I had. I wanted a partner. I know they aren't for everybody but a marriage of some sort was for me. And I beat the odds in a spectacular way. I won the lottery of love and got hit by the lightening bolt of incandescent love. A week today it will be the ninth anniversary of our first date - a walk around the Dingle Peninsula with both of us thinking - jeesh, nice person but not my cup of tea. For we both stuck it out - we both knew (as we had met through an online dating service) that we were in it for a real commitment so we got to know each other slowly and surely and ZOWIE - best guy in the world for me and I know - me for him.
So what?
So the odds of me getting published are pretty piss poor. The industry is suffering, there is a surfeit of good writers, I'm too tall, too bossy and too picky (oh, maybe that doesn't matter here - well, that's why they call it a metaphor). But I know writing books is for me and I won't settle for the decided joys of writing blog posts, having the occasional poem published and tinkering. No - I will send out my arrows of love - I will become a better writer by writing, I will transcend my age, my particular style, my hopes and fears and I will find that publishing winning lottery ticket, that fantastic bolt of agental lightening. Because I - my dears - am a writer.

The challenge today is to find one person in your field (novel writing, painting, photography, loving, ) what ever your dream is - find one person who has beat the odds in that field. Who found a publisher without an agent or an agent without an intro - who was your age, gender, or whatever it might be that you think is against the odds of you getting what you want. If one person has beaten the odds for getting their particular dream met - then so can you.

Go! Quit dithering about. Now.


Richard said...

Excellent post. Congratulations on your success as a wife, and probably soul-mate. Getting published today is a challenge it seems, although anyone can self-publish (I have). It sounds like your writing group needs to get down to business and stop complaining.

salarsenッ said...

What an inspiring post!! Finding confidence in others' success, especially those who have veered from the traditional route of publishing, does help. Just believe.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Wonderful inspiring post. such a pleasure to read.

Enjoy your week-end.


Jan Morrison said...

Hi Richard - yep, I did all right. I don't believe in the notion of soul mates but that's just me. I wouldn't want you to think my writing group sits around complaining though. This was just a moment in a long and productive meeting that got me thinking...

Thanks Salarsen - I don't just believe - I back it up with the work and I know you do too!

Jan Morrison said...

Yvonne - you snuck in there! Thanks - you have a lovely one too - it is sunny here. those words don't adequately express how I feel to see the actual sun!

Tanya Reimer said...

Oh man! I love your post. LOVE IT! I will print it and post it under my seat, so when I'm down for the count, I can get motivation to get my butt back in the chair and try again!

So wonderful meeting you! Despite the fact that you are too tall and I'm just too short, we should have fun on our journey.

ShannonAnn said...

Hi Jan,
I find your Friday Challenges thought provoking and I usually try to apply them in some way in my own life. I appreciate too, your upbeat and positive outlook, without putting your head in the sand. Thanks XO

Eve said...

Hey Jan! Great post..I can relate, I'm tall, bossy and picky too! And I'm single, but that's where we differ. I love being single and I wouldn't trade it for anything! I would really rather have a book published than meet 'someone special'...whatever that means..
As difficult as it is, I am going to keep plugging away and beat these publishing will happen, (that's my new mantra!)
Peace to you.

DazyDayWriter said...

Hi Jan, so glad I stopped by today. Your blog is looking great! And I enjoyed the topic. Beating the odds as a creative spirit in today's over-the-top, want-it-yesterday world is quite the challenge, indeed. I think just having the courage to keep writing is beating the odds -- that and giving up expectations. But for another take on this subject, have the Exec Editor of Author Mag as my guest this week in SunnyRoomStudio ... he has some great advice for writers, as well! Stop by, meet Bill Kenower (Seattle) ... has lots of common sense. Wishing your a great weekend and happy writing. --Daisy

djskrimiblog said...

Very inspiring.

I was so lucky that I found the love of my life when I was only seventeen. I have not found the agent or publisher yet, but I tell myself that you can produce books until you are hundred so there is not the same urgency to begin early ;)

But lately I have begun wondering if I really want an agent - because I am too small, too bossy and too picky. Besides, I live in Scandinavia and have my potential readers all over the world. So perhaps self-publishing e-books isn´t such a stupid solution for me. Instead of writing all those queries I loathe, I could send my books out there myself, and spend my precious writing time WRITING FICTION.

Arlee Bird said...

Atta girl! Don't just dream but motivate yourself moving forward. We don't get anywhere by just sitting and hoping and complaining. We got to actually do something. Thanks for the call to action.

Tossing It Out

Liza said...

So well written! Why not us! Yes we can!

Jan Morrison said...

Tanya – ditto – I’m thrilled to have met you as well. And I think both of us are exactly the right height. I’m reading a book by Wayne Johnston (newfie writer of note) and the protagonist is a woman who is 6’2’ and it is set in the early 1900’s! Now that would’ve been problematic…

Shannon Ann – thank you – I love writing the Friday Challenge for, of course, they are challenges for me too.

Eve – oh sistah…I have lots of friends that are happy being single too. I just wasn’t. Just as I wouldn’t be happy trying like mad to get published.

Daisy – I’ll be over to check that out for sure! Thanks for coming by.

Dorte – you are a lucky duck! How many of us bossy picky types there seem to be! I like it. I think e-books are a great way to go and will definitely be considering that possibility as I mosey along. I think you’d still have to flog the books – no matter what we will have to do ‘non-writing’ shit to get out there but…as long as we keep writing we are winners.

Lee – thanks! I’m happy to sit at my desk with all my virtual pals around me sitting at their’s. And off we go! Into the action…

Liza – thanks – that means a great deal coming from you – I adore your writing as you know. Yes, we can!

Jodi R. said...

I really admire your ability to blog consistently Jan - I am sporadic at best. I ususally don't write too much about writing on my blog, but I did this week - querying in particular:

Ugh. I'll try not to freak out through the thunderstorm of rejection I'll bear over the next few months... I know people make it against the odds though, so I'll keep plugging away and work on my next piece!

Thanks for your words of encouragement... you're so calm it's reassuring!


KarenG said...

Whoever was whining at your writing group needs to get online (just as you found your man LOL) and research the changing climate in the publishing industry. Then she might realize there's an awfully lot of potential out there for an unpublished writer with 1) a finished manuscript of some quality 2) no agent 3) enough gumption to get their work out there.

There are so many opportunities right now for writers, more than ever before. Sounds like this frustrated writer is stuck in the past, when it truly was hopeless for 90% of us. That has all changed.