Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Need The Struggle

Stephanie here.

Something I've noticed in my years of interacting with aspiring writers is that universally the process of getting published feels daunting. I've been in that place. It's normal to doubt that being published will ever happen for you. We all do that. And even once you're published, you might wonder if you'll ever be published again.

I've noticed, however, that aspiring writers tend to fall into two categories when they're asking me questions:

Category one:

Why can't I just send in my manuscript to publishers? That would be a lot easier.
Unless you're a personal friend of James Patterson, it's impossible to get published.
My friend self-published on Amazon, and it only took her a week. That's a lot better than putting up with all the waiting agents and editors make you do.

Category two:

What writers conferences are worth attending?
Here's the pitch I've prepare for my story. What do you think of it?
Do you think there's a market for a story about vampire clowns in the old west?
Edits are taking me forever. How long does it take you to edit a book?

Category one writers are all about finding an easier way because getting published just feels too hard. I certainly don't believe everyone needs to be pursuing publication, or that writing is only worthwhile if you sell your manuscript, or that you aren't a real writer unless a publishing house says you are. But I do think there's value in going all out when you're pursuing something hard. 

Which is why this quote stuck out to me:



"All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today." -Pope Paul VI

As a writer, you know that it would be a very boring story indeed if you simply handed your character everything they needed and wanted as soon as they asked for it. With the hard work you put into your stories, you're not only becoming a better writer, but a better person too.

Write on!


13 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Mrs. Morrill. I'm working hard on those edits. :)

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    1. Good for you, Linea! It can be hard to stay motivated on edits because progress is difficult to measure. I'm proud of you!

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  2. I love that quote, and it's so prevalent in all areas of life. I'm currently working on a complete rewrite of my novel for its third draft, and it's difficult and frustrating, but so worth it at the same time.

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    1. Oh, wow. Yes, that's a very frustrating situation. I've done that twice before, and it's always paid off.

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  3. Thanks Stephanie. I'm struggling right now with what I feel is too dry and boring of a plot/some major players. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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  4. Love this. It reminds me of the caterpillar/butterfly analogy. If the caterpillar didn't fight to get out of the cocoon, it would never be able to fly.

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  5. Publishing does feel really daunting but it makes the feeling of actual success so much more! If being a published writer was easy, everyone would be doing it. It separates the dedicated from the dabblers.

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  6. Great, great point! Like anything, whether hiking a mountain or practicing as an musician or losing weight, much of the intrinsic worth of writing is vested in its very difficulty. If writing weren't hard, then everyone would be doing it and then structuring, completing and publishing a novel wouldn't be special accomplishments anymore.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Sophia

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  7. This reminds me of a quote by Beverley Sills that I remember from an earlier post here. "There are no shortcuts to any places worth going."

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    1. That's an awesome quote! I'm going to have to save that somewhere.


      Alexa
      thessalexa.blogspot.com

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  8. Vampire clowns in the old west lol :D Great advice ;)

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  9. Vampire clowns in the old west. That's actually quite original :). Made me laugh though. Great post! That quote resonates with me.

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  10. Comforting and timely posts for me, because edits are taking forever! lol. And it's so true. Thanks for this!
    Also, vampire clowns in the old west: is that a thing? lol. Because it sounds kinda cool.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com

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