Saturday, January 07, 2012

Everyone Wants a Magic Pill

To be successful as a writer, forget the lure of a magic pill. There is no magic, except the magic within you.

When the idea of writing first draws us to tell a story, we get lost in the creation process. It's such a freeing and fun activity. Words follow words, paragraphs follow paragraphs, and before we know we have completed our first novel. How exciting! We dream of seeing our book in our favorite store, bright and shining, sitting on a shelf where people are scrambling to grab the last copy. Ah, the dream...

Then come rejections. What? Pain rips a hole in our confidence. Despair, depression, and self-doubt replace the excitement. If we're lucky, we join a writer's group seeking guidance and a magic pill to turn us into an "author."

We bury ourselves in craft books, attend seminars, workshops, and take online classes. We become addicted to learning, following the "rules," being perfect, editing, re-writing...and by doing so we lose the spontaneity of telling a story. We try to follow the "market," write what's hot, all the time stumbling around and seeking what we want to be when we grow up.

Maybe that's not you. Maybe not. Maybe pieces of what I've said apply to you. It happened to me. I became addicted to learning and in the process I found out...gasp...there is no magic pill! No magic formula! The writing process is unique to each of us.

We are individuals, each with our own thought process, ideas, idiosyncrasies. That's how God created us. Knowing that, how can we expect to follow in someone else's footsteps and achieve the same success? We can't. All we can do is be true to ourselves. Write the stories we want to write, not what we think will sell.

The process? Whatever works for you! But the most important thing to remember is that you have a writing voice. Yours is different from mine and from any other writer. If you seek critiques, read them and take what makes sense for your writing. Don't change your story because of what someone else says. That's their opinion, their "voice" speaking.

The best advice I can give? Read, read, read in the genre yow want to write. You'll know what that is. Then just write your story. Don't look for a magic pill to help you succeed. Just write.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good advise & break free from set rigid rules

I concur :-)