I’m excited to be part of Raimey Gallant’s #AuthorToolbox monthly blog hop (third Wednesday of each month) with the theme of resources/learning for authors. Post are related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful. We share our experiences as it relates to these topics. Interviews are also permitted as long as they provide valuable knowledge for authors (i.e. advice.) Straight book reviews are not permitted unless they are reviews of books about writing/publishing/etc.
This month: Tricks of Being a Writer
At times, writing seems impossible. I wonder if I have what it takes or if there’s some critical piece I’m missing that means it just won’t ever happen. I do a lot of the right things–
- I read, a lot.
- I’m observant.
- I’m a loner (or, the flip side–I don’t mind being alone).
- I bloom where I’m planted.
But is that enough? I went in search of other traits friends who I consider successful writers have that might inform me in my endless quest to succeed in a craft that few can. I found that more is required to become that person who can proudly, eruditely consider themselves a writer:
- Writers have a selective memory–they forget the bad stuff people say and remember the good. Otherwise, it’s depressing.
- Writers are conversant with their muse. Anywhere, at any time, on any subject. It doesn’t matter. When s/he starts talking, writers listen.
- Writers are tethered to their voicemail in case that Big Call from an agent comes through. If there is no call, they check the machine to be sure it’s plugged in and working properly.
- Writers understand the importance of taking a break to do something fun, like read a book. If they are one of those unlucky folk who get writer’s block, this will suffice.
- Writers never show fear in front of their computer. It’s like a dog–it smells our distress. It’ll then do nasty things like eat your manuscript or freeze in the middle of a scene.
- Writers embrace the words of Winston Churchill: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.
- Writers can be categorized as plants or sharks. Plants take whatever life throws at them, hoping to survive long enough to publish. Sharks never stop moving, always hunting. Successful writers are sharks.
- You can tell a lot about a writer by the way he/she handles three things: rejection, fame, and a change in their schedule.
- Talking about a WIP is almost like writing it, but not as frightening
- In golf, one of 14 clubs has to be the right decision. In writing, all 14 are wrong because readers want unique.
- Don’t judge a writer by what he does between the lines.
- Writers believe in the impossible, in miracles, and in Santa Claus. They will spend hours trying to literarily square the circle and consider it time well spent.
- To rephrase Voltaire: No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking from a writer.
- Where the engineer thinks of his equations as an approximation to reality, and the physicist thinks reality is an approximation to his equations, the writer thinks it doesn’t matter if the prose are elegant.
And #15: The most prevalent trait: We are dreamers, positive thinkers, and don’t know how to quit even if it would be in our best interests. That above all else is part of the heart and soul of so many writers I admire.
How about you? What makes you a writer even if your day job title is Accountant?
More about writers:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, The Quest for Home, Fall 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning