Writing is a marathon
I have decided that with my writing, while I want it to be career, it is all about the long-term game called endurance.
The last week and really the last year has felt like a sprint. I’ve felt rushed to finish manuscripts, read everything I can about writing, maintain an online social presence and go to as many writing events as I can all because I know what I want, I want to be a writer.
While I don’t regret any of the things I’ve done on my holidays, I need to keep things in perspective.
The plain simple truth of it is I already am a writer. I already have a career. I already passionately love what I do.
So after a year of sprinting, I’ve decided to slow down.
I had three great pitches all of which felt like the fastest and longest 15 minutes of my life. Some of my writing group friends had wonderful successes from these and some disappointing lows. It has been a long time coming for some. While your dreams seem so close sitting in front of an editor instead of in the slush pile, writing heartbreak inevitably comes to all true writers.
Here’s some insights I took away from the conference:
- You are allowed description in picture books.
- Each editor has preferences for layout and what they like in manuscripts.
- Remember the one true heart of your story. Don’t lost sight of it!
- Ask to resubmit. (They all said YES.)
- Turn the internet off so you can have quality writing time. Thanks Isobelle Carmody.
So here is what I’m going to do from these appointments. I’m going back to the basics to reformulate some of my picture book manuscripts:
- Know my main character’s intent inside and out.
- Lay my action out over 32-page spread picture book dummy. I’ve already made my worksheet and begun my work.
- Follow the basic rules of writing and trust you know them, but don’t be afraid to try something new. I’m going to try middle-grade for a while.
- It’s okay to be stuck and let your work rest. Sometimes you both need a break from each other.
- Surround yourself with writing people who support you. My friends and I have been through writing highs and lows in the last couple of weeks. You need to ride the writing rollercoaster together. THANK YOU!
- There are many roads to publishing success―traditional, self-publishing, e-books and more. You will find your own way. Here are some success stories from my own writing group Write Links.
- It is okay to spend less time online to do more of what I love, WRITING.
I’m listening to my own advice and I’m off to write. Back to the marathon.
7/7/2014 01:58:22 pm
What a fantastic post, Bec! I know you are in it for the long run and I know you will keep running that marathon, I will be right there running along, and so will many others and we'll keep passing each other bottles of water or perhaps that should be bottles of wine!
7/7/2014 04:27:52 pm
Great post, Bec! I'm running along with you, Bec. :)
7/7/2014 06:46:29 pm
What a great reminder. Thanks Bec! Although new to the race, I'm absolutely loving it and really appreciate the support from other writers and particularly Write Links!
7/8/2014 07:34:57 am
Rebecca, that was a great post and I must thank you for it. I feel like my whole writing life is rush rush too. There are short-term time pressures always but a greater, all-powerful clock that seems to be ticking for writers everywhere... That feeling that time is running out to become traditionally published. That there are too many people writing and too much content and how will I keep up with it all and stand out from the crowds of bloggers and essayists, children's writers and novelists. I will join you on that marathon, my friend, as your support person and as a runner in my own race.
7/8/2014 04:40:12 pm
Years ago a screenwriter said to me never give up. No matter how many rejections you get Just keep on going and one day your dream will come true
7/10/2014 09:20:30 pm
Thank you everyone. I've been so touched by people's genuine response to where I'm up to on my writing path. Let's run this marathon all the way!
8/4/2014 11:15:22 am
Very interesting perspective Rebecca. I think a lot of people, when they realise they want to write, get really excited and want it to happen quickly. But, then, it's important to step back and understand that everything takes time and it's persistence that will allow to achieve your dreams. Great post and all the best with your writing!
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