Sunday, September 7, 2014

Don't Whine! Writing isn't easy!

Want to be an overnight success? If you chose writing you're barking up the wrong tree.

Like anything in life, writing is an uphill climb. Really, not joking. No one, and I mean no one hits success over night. Period. It doesn't happen. Many well known authors have been rejected more times than you can count on your fingers and toes. It's true.

I've compiled a few sites with information that should serve as a good lesson if you're ready to give up. These authors did not give up!

Anyone ever heard of Louis L'Amour? If not, please stop reading. Really???? Just kidding, but seriously?

Did you know he was rejected 200 times?

I would have crawled into a hole at ten.

Zane Grey was told, "You have no business being a writer and should give up."

Want to see more? Tell me why I should keep going.

Here is a great list of rejections:

30 Famous Authors 

My favorite movie of all time, Gone with the Wind, would not have been anything if Margaret Mitchell would have given up! She received 38 rejections! Did I stutter? 38!

The list goes on and on!

Keep in mind though we are in a new era. Anyone can publish their books and bypass the traditional rodeo. Will this make you an instant success? NO! Will it take time? YES!

First, and I've said this before, you need to write something worth reading. Will your first book be fabulous? Maybe.

I remember my first book. Good golly. I read, reread, reread again, and again. I submitted it, nervous as hell. Yeah, cloud nine when I got an acceptance. I was already living the dream, y'all!

Uh, no.

We are competing with thousands and thousands of other hopefuls!

You can't stop at one book. You can't stop at two. Writing is something that takes time...oodles of time. Building an audience, learning, growing, it is all part of the process. Then there is a whole lot of luck and being at the right place at the right time. Sure, there are Cinderella stories, but for me, hell, I can't win the lottery, and its the same thing. Remember though, for every author you see hit and skyrocket, they didn't do that overnight. What you will not see is the struggle behind the scenes.

Writing, as I've said before, isn't a get rich scheme. You need to love what you do if for no other reason than to appease the voices in your head.

To illustrate my point, I am using someone that everyone knows well. If you don't know. Wow! Let me tell you a tale, and although this person isn't a writer per say, he had an uphill climb.

Picture it, 1993, rural Oklahoma....

I had just turned eighteen. Don't laugh! Anyway, I was able to vote. Yeah, yeah. So, I had just moved back to Oklahoma where I grew up, after living in another state for around nine years. Got me a boyfriend, oh yes I did. LOL.

We were cruising in the big ol' town of Ada, Oklahoma. Yeah, we were so cool. My boyfriend had a nineteen-eighty-something Chevy, souped up with a brand spankin' new paint job. Man, I thought that guy was awesome, but I digress. So we were cruising on a hot summer night with the windows rolled down. His buddy was next to the door, me in the middle. The flashing lights of the McSwain Theatre were ahead. Cars and trucks were lined up and down the street. The marquee read, Blake Shelton.

Okay, let's get this straight, Blake was around 16 or 17 at the time if my memory serves me right. He was just a kid and locals loved him. Well, not counting my boyfriend and his buddy.

"Oh, Blake is singing at the McSwain. He's gonna be a big time singer one day." (Laughs) The boyfriend liked to make fun of Blake for some reason.

I didn't have a clue who Blake was since I'd been away for nine years or so. I thought it was pretty cool that the theater was packed for him anyway.

Weekend after weekend at different times I heard all sorts of jokes about Blake. (from goofy teens that were super cool because they were cruising instead).

What I didn't realize at the time was the fact Blake didn't just start singing, nor did he just decide he wanted to. He started when he was very young. Here's a video.

Blake was not an overnight success, wowing the country music world. He honed his craft over many years. The important thing to remember is the fact he kept doing what he loved regardless of what anyone said or thought. I don't know if he was ever bugged in school or faced any idiots like the one I dated, but I dare guess his journey wasn't an easy one. Again, he kept doing what he loved to do! Does persistence pay off? You bet.

Around the same time frame I was at a locally famous bar. I two-stepped past Doug Supernaw and Tracey Byrd. That was the same night I watched a woman cut her boyfriend's throat with a pocket knife. It took four bouncers to haul her out of the joint. No worries, he lived. She didn't cut all the way through. Again, off topic.

My point is this, everything takes practice, patience, and time. I'm sure James Patterson has many tales concerning rejections and the art of perseverance. Rejections aren't prejudiced, anyone can get them whether it be from a publisher or reader.

If you can dream it up there is more than likely an audience. How big I couldn't say, but you will need to find your genre, your style, and keep going if you love what you do. Do it for the right reason and that should be because you love to write.

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