Wednesday, December 6, 2023

If we are insecure we are also secure

 Greetings dear fellow insecure writers and those that love us!

It is time for the December meeting of the IWSG - sign up here!

I love December and this particular December I feel a resurgence of my creative energy. This is the new year for me. My birthday is on the solstice and I naturally feel the world turn to the light as it approaches. I was in a slump for awhile but my energy like the light is starting a slow turn to the positive.

I have a message for all aspiring writers that is burning a hole in my metaphoric pocket.  Here it is:

Do not dance with someone who isn't flat-out crazy to dance with you.

And by this I mean do not get into a publishing or agent agreement unless you can easily ascertain that they are full on enthusiastic.

I used to feel that if anyone was willing to dance with me - a tall gawky red-haired flibbertigibbet - that I had to say yes. I got over that after several disastrous  unions but I neglected to take that learning into my artistic life. As writers who often accrue enough rejections to paper our writing studios, we can leap when someone expresses even the mildest of interests. Do not! Take your time to find out why they like your piece (your essay, your poem, your short-story, your novel) or if indeed they do at all. Publishing in this treacherous time is fraught so it seems like we should take any scrap of interest offered. Remember why you write and if you will still want to do so if you are writing solely to get published. Unless you are Margaret Atwood or Stephen King you won't really be making any money anyway so you might as well do it for the love of the craft. 

I'm going to be way old on the solstice and I have at least five more books I want published, but they will not be represented or published by anyone who doesn't think they are as special I do. That might mean they sit in a drawer or I publish them myself (not what I want to do) because I've decided I'm a writer first and an author second.

Merry Holidays to all who celebrate this time of year whatever your belief system.

Hold yourself precious!


Jemi Fraser said...

Agreed! Your dance partners need to be passionate about you
I love that you used flibbertigibbet - and now I'll be singing How do you solve a problem like Maria... all day! Love it :)

Melissa said...

It's true that some people just don't *get* your writing. It's important to surround yourself with advisors who will be honest and push you to do your best, but who also understand what you are aiming for.

Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

Computer Tutor said...

There are a lot of writers who need to hear your warning. I am shocked how many writing friends get excited by the "tall gawky red-haired flibbertigibbet" only to find out what you and I were sure would be the truth.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I hope you have a happy birthday month. I'm glad you're getting back into your writing. And I agree with you that we shouldn't say yes to a publisher or agent if they don't sound like a good fit for us or our book.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy birthday early!
You definitely want someone as excited about your story as you.

Fundy Blue said...

Wise advice, Jan! My sister Bertie learned the hard way. I'm glad that your creative energy is coming back. The Winter Solstice is one of my favorite days in the year because of the returning of the light. May your birthday be joyous!

Samantha Bryant said...

That's a hard lesson, but a good one. Don't settle for less. @samanthabwriter from
Balancing Act

Margot Kinberg said...

Sorry to be late to this party, Jan! But you have such a well-taken point. As writers, we shouldn't 'settle.' We write better when we're supported by editors, publishers, and just friends, etc., who are enthusiastic enough about our ideas to help us write them better.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I hear you and agree. It's so much more fun to be a writer. All this marketing, soliciting reviews, visiting bookstores and writing a newsletter (that part's fun) worrying about preorders and everything else is stressful. I just want to write and wish the book would sell itself. Good luck with 2024. Manuscripts in drawers make me sad too.