Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Perseverance and Determination

I'm in the throes of NaNoWriMo and an election. An ugly one at that. Either of these would be enough to make me throw in the towel at times. The latter attacks my belief in the decency of the people in my community while the former makes me question my own abilities.

As you're making this writing journey do you ever enter a bookstore or walk up the book aisle at Costco and really look at the sheer number of published books there? I don't know about you but that intimidates me on a grand scale.

First, all those books make me question my hope to be published. There are so many of us. Never in my life have I met such a plethora of aspiring authors. A lady at church published a book for her grandchildren. Another mentioned she's writing a YA fantasy. One of the department heads at work confided tome that one of his daughters is writing her third book, and when he retires he wants to write a book. These aren't bad things.

But we writers sure seem to be coming out of the woodwork. With so many new books being published how do you make yours stand out and be noticed? I find I tend to leave bookstores depressed since I started writing.

My second issue is personal. It relates to my writing abilities (or lack thereof). Can I ever be good enough to qualify as one of those people on the bookshelf?

What's your motivation for writing? Do you dream of being the next J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer? Is it just a fun hobby? Are you putting yourself out there to shut up the voices in your head?

Whatever your reason for writing and (perhaps) seeking publication, I believe it's a good thing. Human beings crave story. We can devour a great tale and immediately turn around wanting another. While the bookstores and the Internet may be full of tragedies and comedies and mysteries and fantasies, we will continue to want more.

So don't give up on yourself. We can get good at writing by writing, by reading the best authors, by learning from others. We need to find our own unique voices.

I enjoy the delightful presentation of Ira Glass's words in the following video. But I love the meaning behind the words. They lift me and inspire me when I feel insignificant and ready to give up. They fill me with determination to persevere.

Click here for the Ira Glass video (it wouldn't embed). It's short and totally worth the time to watch.


Cindy M Hogan author of Watched said...

Love that information! (Hated the word video, but I just closed my eyes and listened.) I think I have moments of genius where I am today, but he's right, it does take time.

Canda said...

It's good (?) to hear that you have tough times too while writing. Life gets in there and sometimes its hard to open my laptop. But if I just decide to add a few words, I feel like I'm promising myself that doing something I love even when other things are pressing on me. I do NaNoWriMo a little differently than the rest of the world. My goal is to beat my personal best (number of words per month).

Thanksfully for you election day is just about about over for you, well in 14 hours anyway. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It is overwhelming when you consider the sheer amount of books published a year.

Pam Williams said...

Sarah Eden used this Ira Glass quote in her presentation at the Northwest Writers Retreat. Only I can tell my stories; only you can tell yours. And there's room for both.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Donna, thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your feelings on this. You are amazing, and I believe in you.

Arlee Bird said...

Looking at all the books that are out there can be intimidating, but then I think about all the people reading those books. It's a dream, sure, but one worth pursuing if one's love for the writing is strong enough. I dream and I hope, therefore I try.

A Faraway View