Write On Right Now!: What does it cost you to be a writer?- 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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What does it cost you to be a writer?

I love this quote from Toni Cade Bambara:

"I have shrewd advice to offer developing writers about this business of snatching time and space to work. I do not have anything profound to offer mother-writers or worker-writers except to say it will cost you something. Anything of value is going to cost you something."

With writing, as with most things in life, you have to put yourself into it before you get something out of it. That means giving up some of that time you used to spend watching television, playing games, sleeping late, or even spending time with friends and family. Because get one thing straight right now; writing is work. It means realizing that the first, or second, or third, or maybe even the tenth version of a story still might not be ready for publication and it means submitting rejected manuscripts again and again until they find a home.

Perseverance wins. Repeat that ten times.

Think about your best-written manuscript at the moment. Have you sent it out yet? How many rejection slips have you collected on it? Two? Three? Ten?

Not enough.

Robert M. Pirsig's bestselling book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected over 120 times before being published. To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss, collected 29 rejection slips before it found a home. Stephen King received 84 rejections for a short story that eventually sold to Cavalier magazine. How many rejection slips are in your bottom drawer right now? Why aren’t those manuscripts back in the mail already?

Writing isn't easy. And it's going to cost you something. Are you willing to pay the price?

Write on right now.
Susan

4 Comments:

At Wednesday, July 27, 2005, Blogger Kim said...

Very, very good post!I was just thinking about this today. (It seems I'm always thinking something about writing these days.) I think what you've said is true of anything that is really important. The issue is never that you don't have enough time. It's how you choose to use it. Uh..I'm hoping to be able to get a cleaning person this fall. The crumbs in my house (from not cleaning because I'm writing)caused an ant problem that took way too many hours to address this week!

 
At Thursday, July 28, 2005, Anonymous debbi said...

The Price We Pay: What a great post! Thanks! I don't doubt that most writers know that already, but it sure would be nice if writer friends/families could learn this. I can't tell you how many times a friend made me feel guilty for not "coming out to play" when I said I had to work. Not that they aren't supportive of my writing, but they don't get that it means having to say NO to things. They wouldn't ask a friend who is working as a doctor or a lawyer to just leave their office to go shopping would they? I worry a tiny bit about how I might need to train my mom, when I do move close to her soon, that I won't be able to "play" or run errands or hang out every day. That I DO need to write - stay home and write. Or maybe I'm just thinking too much of myself - maybe she's sitting there worrying "I hope Debbi won't assume she can hang out here all day long, I have things to do!" Ha ha ha! :)

 
At Thursday, July 28, 2005, Blogger Susan Taylor Brown said...

Kim, My kids learned that there was nothing wrong with taking clean clothes out of the laundry basket and that cereal for dinner works just fine when Mom is in the middle of a book. I have to post about time though because I never seem to use mine quite right.

Debbi, You're right of course. Non-writers just don't "get" that we are working when we are home. I used to get the calls from the school nurse, the calls to just yack, the invites to things I didn't want to do anyway and sometimes people did get upset that I didn't seem to have time for them. But it's true that if that's the case, they really weren't your best friends after all.

Now parents, that's a different story. I bet it will be tough when you are living close. Is she the kind of mom you can have a talk with about it? Good luck.

 
At Thursday, July 28, 2005, Blogger MoDigli said...

Perserverance does win. Here's another quote about it (ok, persistence) that I happen to love and keep handy. Have you ever heard of it before?

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derilicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

~ Isreal Regardie

 

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