Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Lessons learned - IWSG

Well here we are again! Gather around writing pals and let's swap stories of what we've learned on the writing trail. Well I've learned never to say outloud what me and my school marm little woman are going to do with the money I'll make when this here cattle drive is over (a little house in town with a picket fence - that's what!), because six minutes later the cattle will stampede and I'll be dead. Okay - wrong trail but still - that's hubris and it'll bite you in the britches if you get too big feelin' no matter what game a person is in. But I didn't learn that from writing - I learned it watching cowboy movies.

What I have learned is to persevere. I'm a writer and so I write. I may get to be an author someday but that will be a side-effect.  I will have lots of essays, poems, novels and plays written - so I will have fruition, but I'll only get to be published if I also submit, query and generally pitch my stuff (to others, not in the garbage).

This month while some of my pals BuNoWriMoed (wrote 50 thousand words)  I decided to focus on submitting.  I made fifteen submissions to contests, publishers and agents. Some of it was my novel, some poems and essays. I feel pretty stoked actually. In the fall I'll get back to finishing Crooked Knife, but right now this seemed the best use of my time.

So persevering is what I learned for both writing and publishing. Also for every goal - becoming healthy after a hip replacement,  following my spiritual practice,  working with troubled youth - wait! It isn't quite perseverance in the way you might think - it is deciding on a path and sticking to it despite the outcomes. I don't know that I'll get published or if I do it will be satisfying. I don't know that I'll reach enlightenment or help anyone in a meaningful way.  But those are my goals and I've had no indication that being on this path is a bad idea. I like the path in of itself. So I will persevere.

Carry on....


Margot Kinberg said...

Perseverance - the way you mean it here - is so important, isn't it, Jan? You just have to keep your head down and your focus on your goals. Little by little, you get there... And it's true: the path itself can be fascinating.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

That's one of life's most valuable lessons! Because the opposite is to quit and who wants to be a quitter? Quitters are losers. Good luck with your goals!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jan - keep writing, keep connecting and generally learning as much as possible while we move forward ... cheers Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I like your "deciding on a path and sticking to it." That's it in a nutshell. I think stubbornness is such a vital trait for writers!

Sara Beth Williams said...

I totally agree perseverance is key. Congrats on submitting to so many places. That's a task for sure. Good luck and keep writing!

Here's my

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