Monday, January 20, 2014

Writer's Life, Part 2

I know I've talked about the "writer's life" before, but hey - it's not easy and I want other writers (new ones especially) to keep on trying. It's worth fighting the empty page. It's worth the hours of editing. It's worth the endless waiting and rejection, because eventually several things will happen.

1. Your writing will improve.
2. You'll make some wonderful new friends in the form of peers, mentors, and industry experts.
3. The rejections will lessen and you will find an editor that will want you to write for them. It might be a magazine article, an advice column, a short story, a poem, a book review, a novel, or a non-fiction book.
4. By believing in yourself, so will others.
5. You will get help. It might be signs from the universe, an answered prayer, a shoulder to cry on...someone will be there when you need them.

I know you didn't ask for it, but I'm going to offer some advice (free of charge).  Pay it forward. I've met and worked with so many wonderful teachers and authors on this creative path.

We all have something unique to offer readers out there.
We share a common dream.

And we usually receive a little help along the way. So, whenever I can I help new writers. It might be a cup of coffee and a sympathetic ear, it might be publishing industry information I've learned, it might be resources or reviews or ideas. It might just be a smile or email that says: "I understand, don't be afraid to keep trying."

People that know me have heard me say, "There are angels among us." This I truly believe. And we writers aren't alone. There are other brothers and sisters on the same path, stumbling over the same ruts and rocks. And to think, we get to create new worlds filled with interesting characters and resolve that world's problems with the stroke of a computer key. That rocks!


Carolyn Erickson said...

You are so right! Pay it forward, and if you're in a position to do so, pay it back. I've received so much mentoring, wise counsel, and encouragement since I decided to pursue writing again. And you were one of the people giving it, Bonnie!

Remember that time we went to work on a Habitat for Humanity build as representatives of the magazine? I had just stated writing for them, and thought no one knew me. You walked up and said, "Hi, Carolyn!"

That was the moment I realized maybe others didn't see me as the imposter I felt myself to be. And of course, there have been many, many others ways you've encouraged and inspired me. I was always grateful and slightly flabbergasted!

The great thing about giving (when done of your own free will) is that no matter how much you pour yourself out, you're never empty.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Like Carolyn, I found your post meaningful! I too believe in giving back. I love your positive attitude and I believe other writers will find it inspiring as well. Like you, I feel very connected with many other writers. There is a spirit of friendship and helpfulness that I very much appreciate and try my best to reciprocate.

Karen McCullough said...

Thank you! Every word is true, but it's something we all need to be reminded of periodically. It's too easy to get caught up in the day to day grind of writing, the depression of rejections, poor sales, bad reviews, etc. and forget all the positive aspects of pursuing a career in writing.

Susan Oleksiw said...

We are so prone to self-doubt that it's a wonder any of us ever complete a novel. But we do. I'm also convinced that every one of us has been helped along the way. Your post is a good reminder to newer writers to "keep the faith," keep going and help others along the way. Crime fiction offers one of the best communities for helping each other in our careers (and in other ways too).

Irene Bennett Brown said...

Years ago, others thought I was crazy to be so excited over the New Websters Dictionary that my young husband gave me for my birthday but it was exactly what I wanted. It was his way of validating, encouraging, my dream to be a writer. There was the retired newspaper woman who edited my 'stuff' and said I must prepare for 'giving talks' shy though I was, because I'd surely be asked. The person who told me I was meant to write novels because my name (and it is my real name) "sounds like an author". Payback time was teaching an adult education class what I'd learned as a published author. Geez, it has been fun, this whole writer's trip!

Bonnie Tharp said...

Great comments you all. Thank you so much for letting me know these words hit a sweet sounding cord. My personal opinion is: WRITERS ROCK!

Female in Motion said...

You've truly been a mentor and encouragement to me in my writing journey, Bonnie D. Thanks for paying it forward and practicing what you preach!

Bonnie Tharp said...

SEE! Writers make the best friends ever.

Nancy Hamilton Sturm said...

The writing life can be lonely. How much better it is when we meet with other writers to help, rejoice, and commiserate. Nice post.

Mary Fremont Schoenecker said...

Your words ring very true. Being helped early on made a big difference in my writing life. Thanks for saying what is on my mind.

Bonnie Tharp said...

Thanks you all for your comments.

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