Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trials and tribulations in life and writing

Lucy Monroe once said:
Believe in your voice and your stories and don't let anyone but your editor convince you to make changes that don't mesh with *your* heart. (Sometimes not even your editor.)”

I love that advice, don’t you? You can really apply it to life, not just writing. Damn, sometimes it’s so hard to know if you’re making the right choices with your writing. Knowing when to revise and when to put your foot down is not an easy thing. I think this sort of knowledge comes with experience. You learn and grow with each manuscript, but it’s easy to get caught in the ‘I’m better than you’ trap. On the other hand, putting your trust in a company is extremely difficult. The words we spin are hard earned and we don’t want to see them go to waste, do we? After all, there’s not a neon sign on a publisher’s website that says ‘I’m going to screw you out of every cent earned!’. It’d be nice though, huh? LOL

I’ve made some mistakes in the past. And I’ll certainly make more. I’ve put my work with poorly run companies and I’ve paid the price in blood, sweat and tears. The truth is, doing some research before you jump in with a publisher makes a big difference. In the end, however, it’s still going to come down to taking a risk. Risks are all part of any business though.

It helps if you know what you want. Keeping sight of your goals is a great way to stay on track and not fall into a place where you can’t dig yourself out. I have very specific goals myself. I know where I want to be in my career next year at this time. I know what I want to accomplish with my writing. I know what I consider a successful career. But my goals aren’t the same as the next writer. We all have our own ideas, our own plan. If you feel like you’re on a treadmill and getting nowhere fast, it’s because you lost sight. I’ve done this and just recently I realized it. What a frustrating moment that was! LOL Still, I’m awake now and back on track and things can only get better! I guess sometimes it just takes someone smacking us upside the head, doesn’t it? *g*

We all get so caught up and lose our focus. You don’t have to be an author to understand where I’m coming from here. Life can sometimes suck us dry if we let it. You spend so much time running errands, doing the chores, making sure everyone has what they need. Soon you’ve forgotten that you left out the most important part of the equation, you!

Don’t you get tired of feeling like the worker bee instead of the queen? That’s sort of how I’ve felt lately. I go the extra mile, do the little things, and then no one notices. Or worse, your extra efforts get taken for granted. It’s so frustrating, huh? Just once I want to be the damn queen! LOL


Anny Cook said...

A counselor once told me that no one would believe that I was important until I believed that first. And what she said was true. Family and friends only respect us and our needs when we make it plain that we "expect" that respect. Best wishes.

Judith Rochelle said...

I agree with both you and Anny. Especially in today's marketplace, where the competition is fiercer than ever, it's so hard to break out of the hive. But always believing in yourself is first and foremost. A good friend told me when you get really depressed think of something you did that you were really proud of, write a paragraph about it and stick it on your bulletion board. or even your forehead! LOL!

Kelley Nyrae said...

Very well said, Anne. I totally agree with you. I've done this a lot lately not only with my writing but also in other aspects of my life. Its so hard some times to believe in yourself or to believe your making the right decisions but like my husband told me, there is no way to know until you do it. If I call I'll have to pick myself up and keep going. Things have a way of working out in the end. Great post.

Anne Rainey said...

Good advice, Anny! Thanks!

Judith--that's a neat idea. I've never tried that. Having a little something hanging on the wall next to the monitor wouldn't hurt!

Kelley, Too true! I guess sometimes you just have to just dive right back in, if you don't you'll sink.

Sela Carsen said...

I just got a little squashed on the windshield of life this morning, Anne. Something made me question the validity of what I write, or as I like to put it when I'm feeling a little bitter, "the chirpy scribblings of a dilettante hausfrau." Yeah. Happy moment there.

So *deep breath* I'm scraping myself off the windshield and throwing the driver an obscene gesture. I'm trying to write here, pal!

Regina Carlysle said...

You know, Sela, I think all of us question what we write from time to time. It's normal. Lately,I've been veering from, what were for me, tried and true themes. Suddenly realized I'd just outgrown them and now I'm one to something new and it's just thrilling.

Everyday life really DOES mesh with our writing life. If one aspect isn't mellow, the other won't be either. When chaos hits, I step back and remember to breathe, I try to calm myself and take one thing at a time. Chaos is wild, fast but usually short lived. Thank GOD.

Excellent post!

Anne Rainey said...

Sela--LOL, I love how you phrased those last 2 sentences! You go, girl! I felt a bit down (okay, I was in a full out pityfest!), but you've got me smiling. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I'm willing to bet most people know you go the extra mile. The thing is most people don't comment on it. The loud people are to complainers. Look around, you deal with lots of people every day, most are NOT complaining about you.

I got a reminder yesterday about the nice people out there that no one knows about and I know from experience that you are one of them.

BTW occasional pity parties are allowed and even a good thing. Keep them short, get it out of your system and then pick up where you left off.

Unknown said...

I've felt that way too, more than once. Anny has good advice.