Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Persistence

I thought I would follow up my last blog with another one on writing.

When you go to college, attend a vocational school, or learn by participating in the "school of hard knocks," you can usually find the type of work for which you've trained. If you graduate with a degree in Elementary Education, chances are good you'll find employment as a teacher. If you attend medical school and last through the years of study and residency, you'll probably become the doctor you've dreamed of being. If you learn how to program a computer, you have a better than average chance of working in the computer field. For the most part, training leads to success in the field of your choice.

With writing, especially creative writing, it's a completely different scenario. Yes, you can study and then procure a job as a technical writer, but if you love to write fiction, there are very few, if any, advertisements that say, "Creative Writer Wanted, Publication Guaranteed." True, there is a market for writers who want to write-for-hire, usually in the educational field, but these jobs typically require a degree in education, science, math, etc., that will qualify you to write the proposed project. Even with specific training, it can be difficult to secure a write-for-hire job.

For those of us who want to write novels and short stories, there is no ready-made market clamoring to buy our masterpieces. We must make the market and we must create a desire for our works. We can't simply reply to an ad for an author and expect to be hired. It just doesn't work that way.

Even after studying writing, taking classes, attending conferences, networking, reading what's being published, writing every day, and generally immersing yourself in writing, there's no guarantee that publication will be at the end of the road.

So why do we do it? Why do we submit ourselves to rejection and criticism? When is it time to cut our losses and take up brain surgery? When do we finally admit we're not good enough to be published? When do we decide it's far better to have clean laundry than to write one more thing that won't be published? When do we give up and throw in the towel? NEVER.

NEVER SURRENDER. NEVER QUIT. Any worthwhile dream is worth pursuing, even it takes a while to realize that dream. A published writer is simply a writer who never gave up. We must never give up our dream because surrender is not in our vocabulary. Persistence is our vocabulary word of our lives.

And, persistence pays off. I've been able to publish stories in several children's magazines, with other stories accepted and waiting to be published. I've also had a children's picture book published. The biggest accomplishment for me, thus far, will be the publication of . . . . you'll just have to check back for my big announcement.

3 comments:

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Very well said, Rebecca. A true writer never gives up, period. It can be a very tough life, but a writer writes because there are characters bursting out of them demanding to be put on paper. That's what we do, we put their lives on paper.

I posted this on my blog today and wanted to share:

"Okay, I'll admit it. Anne Bradshaw over at Not Entirely British did a really good thing and I am shamelessly borrowing from her idea of spotlighting the most amazing youth in the world. I think it is incredible what she has done and the youth that are the finalists in her contest are truly amazing. If you haven't gone to her blog yet, read about them and vote, you're going to want to do that as soon as you're done reading mine, submitting a nomination and generally recognizing that I'm the greatest blogger to ever walk the earth . . . all right, all right, you don't have to do that last part. As long as it exists in my mind I'm okay with that.

Announcing the Best Husband in the World Contest" -- please check out my blog today.

Davis Bigelow said...

Thanks for the encouragement Rebecca! I'll try to put a bit of your optimism away for my occassional rainy day - you know, when my paper gets soggy and my ink runs meaninglessly.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Makes me wonder why I didn't take the guaranteed road and become a teacher or a doctor. Guess writing is just too much fun.