It’s so hard to know where to start. Never done it before. Might fall flat on my face.
It’s just like writing for children, or teens, or scientific tomes. We all want our words to fall on open ears and have a positive effect. Can I do that? Hum…I hope so!
The hard thing is; it isn’t easy, writing. Despite what your friends and family think. It’s not a cakewalk. It’s not coated in pink, frothy curls of frosting. It doesn’t’ smell sweet like bubble gum. Not for a second. Not for a nano-second or even a milli-second. It smells like sweat and blood and tears. Writing smells, tastes and feels like work. HARD WORK.
But you’re compelled.
So what do you do? You start with an education. You take every class you can. Online, in the classroom, from books. You go to conferences and soak up wisdom and mingle and make friends. You learn to accept criticism, gracefully. And you learn to handle rejection. You network. You present yourself professionally.
Don’t let anyone tell you you’re no good. Don’t sit back idly and give up on your dreams of hard-bound immortality. Write your heart out. And when your heart is empty, plumb it for the mire-coated; muck-infested pearls you know, in your very soul, exist.
Write, rewrite, learn the process, and follow the guidelines. Writing books is like any other profession. Success doesn’t come without trial and error. If you’re at the bottom of your barrel, pull yourself up by your boot straps. Don’t dilly-dally. Don’t shy away from rejection. Put your fingers to the keys or the pen to paper and hone your craft. Celebrate each positive word you find in a rejection. Then, apply that wisdom and file it away fir the future.
I know your stories are dying to come out. Mined from the pit of your own experience, elaborated for stylistic effect. Honed, designed, picked to pieces like a roasted chicken. Don’t give up. You have a dream and it is telling stories—tell them! Each time you’re turned down, write a new one, or revisit something old and polish it till lit shines like diamonds. Then submit. Over and over again till you think you’ll gasp from the crushing of your ribs the tiny shards of your broken heart. Pull in air.
Daily events will suck away at the marrow of your words. Persevere. Work, children, spouses, friends…they might not understand. Keep on plugging. Tell them you have a dream and make them believe it.
May I reiterate for a moment? I can’t stress this enough. Take classes. Go to conferences, network, FOLLOW GUIDELINES, and be the storyteller you know deep down in your very bones that you are.
Can I teach you how to write? Probably. Can I teach you how to handle rejection? Nope. I’m still learning. But what I can say is— be brilliant. Sparkle like a star with your shoulders thrown back and your head held high. Read every child’s book you can get your hands on. Early reader, middle-grade, young adult…Each and everyone have something to teach us. Even the bad ones, (Yes, there are a few of those).
Have literature for breakfast. And if the muses aren’t singing, putter around with a writing exercise. No one can write but writers, and the best don’t just pop up out of nowhere. They learn the ropes. They hone the craft. Develop a thick skin and celebrate every rejection that teaches you something.
Make likeminded friends who will hold you up. Revel in a writer’s support group. Kick rejection in the ass, take the bull by the horns and plow though the barricades. Join a critique group that will tear your words apart, remembering all the while, that they are your friends. They’re helping you to be the very best you can be. Do the same for them. And keep in the forefront of your mind, success doesn’t come easily. Hard work and education are the keys. And support. I can’ t emphasize enough the power of support.
One day, when you least expect it, success will come knocking on your door. But only if you are working towards it. Fingers that sit still don’t write stories. Make yourself write as often as you can. Make words your religion. Success only visits those that do everything in their power to make their dreams real.
Start by picking up a book. Read it. Fall in love with words. Join the ranks of the unsung heroes. Most of us don’t make loads of dough. But if we’re lucky, we leave something behind that is permanent. A piece of our hearts. A fragment of our souls. Friendship, Camaraderie, Support, Love. Stories… Of fame and fancy and falling to the gutter—of wild imagination, trust, hope, hate, and hanging on. Of imaginary lives and places we’ll only go in books. Storyteller… I’m talking to you with goose bumps on my arms. I always get them when I think about the brilliance of writing.
Write books and don’t let anyone tell you you’re not beautiful. Don’t let them say you should hit the showers and never return. Tuck in your shirttail. Call a friend and keep pounding the keys. Keep learning. Keep striving for perfection.
Eventually, your voice will be heard. And if you don’t believe me, leave a message. Someone from this group will answer. It might be me. We’ll all tell you the same thing. Keep on trucking writer! Let your words sing.
Sigh… I think I like blogging. I’ve broken tons of grammar rules and it feels joyous. Test out the feeling yourself and put it to words!
Happy writing. Hang in there.