Writers on writing, words of wisdom, whatever you want to call them… here’s another batch for this month!
By any definition in any book, a writer is a person who writes.
I love to write, especially when I am challenged, scared of where I am going, scared of the dark, and having fun with the topic and characters.
I hate the modern thinking that one book is important. (Put large quotes around the word important.) A book is just a bunch of writing. A story told to readers.
I’m a writer. I am a storyteller. I tell stories.
I will manage to get the books and stories I finish into print for readers to read if they want. But my attitude of writing first is also why this web site is not yet a good gateway to my fiction. It’s slowly getting better, but not there yet.
I would rather write something new, not take care of all the stuff I already wrote.
– Dean Wesley Smith
The actual writing is what you live for. The rest is something you have to get through in order to arrive at the point.
― Raymond Chandler
Writers can do the same thing. We can write what we want.
The trade-off is that hitting the cultural zeitgeist is much harder. The world has gotten bigger. The days when a single book rests on the coffeetable of everyone who reads are long gone.
What we gain in freedom, we lose in attention.
And many writers do their best to build boxes around themselves, as you can see from those comments a few weeks ago. Even indie writers believe that there are Rules To Be Followed, and Tastemakers To Be Placated.
Weirdly enough, in this world where we can upload the book today we finished writing yesterday, we have to wait to get attention for it. Yes, we might get our usual readers to pick up a copy, but for the book to have “legs,” for it to make an impact, that takes time.
And sometimes that time might be years, not weeks. The book we published today might be part of a cultural trend ten years from now. It’s up to us to remain informed, to see the trends building, to change covers or point out that this book—which first saw print a decade ago—actually has a lot to say about what’s going on right now.
It’s a whole different way of thinking about things, a way we’re not yet used to.
At the end of the day, it feels somewhat demotivational to suggest that all the little tricks and cheats may fail you in the end — but I’d also hope you’ll take heart that, at the end of the day, EVERYTHING YOU WERE LOOKING FOR WAS WITH YOU ALL ALONG. (hashtag wizard of oz.) You have the power. You have the voodoo. You’ve got the ability to motivate yourself. You needn’t look for external things. You want time? Grab it. You need inspiration? Drill it up out of your own heart. You want motivation? Write. Write your way to it, then write your way through it. You are not beholden to anything outside yourself.
You are beholden only to yourself.
The most important thing you can do is follow your dream.
I’m dead serious when I say this. Too many times we let other people live our lives for us. If you follow your own dream, you are much less likely to have regrets in the long run. If your dream is to find an agent who might find a big publisher who can get your book into bookstores, Walmart, the grocery store, etc, then pursue it. Try to find the agent. If your dream is to find a small publisher who will take the burden of having to upload your book yourself, design the cover, provide editing services, etc, then submit to a small publisher. If your dream is to self-publish because you want full control, then self-publish.