Thursday, November 5, 2015

Writing Inspiration ~ #amwriting #Nanowrimo

photo (1)Last November, I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time ever, and while I didn't finish a complete manuscript in one month, I did "win" in terms of word count.  By February, I had typed "the end" to my fourth novel, and now Haunted Souls is awaiting a release date.  I decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, as I've branched out into teaching writing classes as well, and to say I'm over-scheduled at the moment would be a tremendous understatement.  But I wanted to cheer on all the writers working on getting their daily word count in by posting the inspirational quote I keep on my keyboard.  And if your fingers need a break and you care to read the story behind the quote, I've included it below.  The original post first appeared as one of my contributions to The Pearls of Writing Wisdom ~ a blog co-written by ten published authors dedicated to sharing weekly writing tips on Tuesdays and inspiration on Fridays.
The quote taped to my keyboard came to me in a fortune cookie on New Year's Eve in 2010. It seemed appropriate for what I was feeling, since my resolution was to begin sending out queries for my first manuscript, Silver Lake.
Real courage is moving forward when the outcome is uncertain. - Michael Angier

Now, I'm not comparing writing to the kind of courage it takes to go into battle to defend your country or something like that.  But it does take courage to go after your dreams, especially when the dream is as big as writing a novel and getting it published.  It's easy to say "Someday, I'm going to write that novel." It's much harder to actually do it.  Even once those first words get typed, there's no guarantee your energy and inspiration will hold out until you get to "The End". A writer pours blood, sweat, tears, caffeine, and days spent in pajamas into a manuscript, and the outcome IS uncertain.  Will it all come together?

But if you don't start, you definitely won't finish.  And if you don't send queries out and risk rejection, you won't find a publisher willing to back your story. Putting your creation out there is nerve-wracking at best.  I knew I was about to enter a very unpleasant stage of the process for most writers.  And there was no guarantee that if I stuck with it, my novel would find a home.

I weathered the rejections.  I rewrote and made cuts.  I tried again.  I began receiving full requests, and then an R&R (a request to Revise and Resubmit) - with suggestions on what needed to be fixed.  Again, no guarantees, but I did the work.

And the day that contract offer came for my debut novel was one of the best days of my life.  December 16, 2011, almost a year after I opened that cookie and found the words of encouragement that remind me daily not to give up.

Keep at it, writers!

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