Write On Right Now!: Success and stuff- Writing Prompts & Exercises to Get You Writing Now!

Write On Right Now!

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to write. And that would be me. I've moved my journal about my writing life over to LiveJournal http://susanwrites.livejournal.com This blog will be filled with writing prompts and exercises so we can all write on right now! Please feel free to share your favorites.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Success and stuff

Sometimes I get so caught up in the business of writing and publication and publicity and making money or dreaming up ways to make money with words that I forget that all of that is completely out of my control and that I need to concentrate on writing and let the rest of the story play itself out.

But it's hard. How can I read about great reviews and huge advances and not think about how it might affect me and my work? How can I stay focused on my work, on becoming a better a writer, a more honest writer?

I would pay tremendous sums of money to know how to do that. Truly. I think it is the toughest thing to do, to not think about the publishing and the possibility of awards and fleeting and fame and just write the stories and stay true to the writer inside of me.

I have friends who have had great success with a book or several books and I'm happy for them, really I am, but I have to remind myself that I can't compare any of my experiences with their successes. But I do compare, and that is always the problem. Once we have that first sale, that first acknowledgement publicly of our talent, it is no longer about the writing, but rather about the repeat factor...or trying to play top it with ourselves. I think that with our writing, as in other parts of our life, we go through stages of growth and plateau. Each time we hit that plateau and hunger to push ourselves to the next level of writing and more growth, it becomes like starting over all over again. Makes us once again beginners in our chosen area. I have a hard time with that. And I don't know the secret to staying focused. I seem to pepper my life with so many activities that I have difficulty balancing without crashing. Writing is tough enough. Then there are so many of us that work full or part time on topof it. Plus add in children, spouses, family folk who need our support and so on. Sometimes I wonder how it is we ever get anything done at all.

How do you stay the course when life threatens to push you off the path?

Well sometimes I just let it. I have to admit to myself that some writing/social situations are negative to me. Sometimes I can't let myself be around other writers because hearing about all their latest sales and great connections and happy publishing experiences works the wrong way on me. While I can be happy for my friends, at the same time I think, "Why not me?" and "What am I doing wrong?". Then it becomes more of a downer than a positive experience. So at times I just remove myself from those situations. I don't begrudge my friends their successes, I just have to protect myself from a tendency to feel sorry for myself and whine. Some people always go to conferences and such things and feel wired up and jazzed and motivated. But if I am in a rough spot with myself and my work, that's the wrong place for me to be. Instead I pull books off my shelf to read. Books that tell the story of other writers suffering the same insecurities and worries and envies. Somehow that helps.

I don't know how to stay focused. I don't even know how I do all that I do. It is sorta like just picking up whichever baby is crying the loudest at the moment and hoping that instinct and the need for survival will pull me through.

Write on, right now.


At Monday, May 23, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god! Your post totally spoke to me just now! I'm feeling very much NOT in a good writer place lately - for much of the same reasons yoy cite. So much is out of my control, and while the writing IS in my control, sometimes i need a break. And maybe that's what this summer is about. Maybe. Sometimes after I decide to take a break, the Muse sings. What a crazy business.

At Monday, May 23, 2005, Blogger Kim said...

That's my problem too. I have about one hour each night, if I'm lucky. Maybe a little more on weekends. Plus, I have lots of other interests that I completely ignore when I'm writing because they all have to fit into that little one hour slot! Who knows what the summer will hold...hopefully more writing time, not less!

At Tuesday, May 24, 2005, Blogger iTripped said...

As a non-commercial writer I don't get caught up in the money issues so much, although I do dream of the possibility now and then.

No, for me the issue is simply distraction. Period. Sometimes it's money, sometimes it is life in general. But like anonymous said, sometimes the muse sings and distraction is less of an issue.

At Saturday, May 28, 2005, Blogger Don Tate II said...

Wow, so much of what you said, I can relate to. I want to be happy when with other illustrator successes, and for the most part I am. But so often, I see their successes as my failures, the bar, already out of my reach, now even higher. My first book was all about doing my best, getting published, painting. But the following books were about the spotlight. I am now learning to focus on what I love doing, creating and painting and not paying attention to the awards, the reviews, and all the buzz. It takes the fun out.

At Sunday, May 29, 2005, Blogger Susan Taylor Brown said...

It is hard, isn't it, not wanting to put ourselves in someone else's place and experience what they are experiencing? I keep reminding myself that I am the only one who can tell my stories, but dang, it is tough.


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