Tag Archives: perseverance

One Hundred Down- Hundreds to Go

This, as you may, or may not believe it, is my hundredth blog post. Miraculous right? It just makes me think back to little sophomore me starting this out as a school assignment all those years ago (alright two, but seriously who’s counting?)

I suppose in this post I just wanted to reflect some on the never-ending nature of being a writer. It’s a fantastic life. But it’s tiring sometimes. Because it reminds me a lot of having a yard infested with mushrooms…or dandelions…the moment I get one part of the job done, ten more things pop up. As a nanny it seems even more like the joy of parenthood, cleaning and then having ten more things get dirty in the next hour.

Life is like that in some ways, circular in nature. But that doesn’t make it any less exhausting.

The day I finished my first novel I was overjoyed. There was such a level of excitement, unparalleled by most of my other achievements. I was unable to stop scanning through the pages, pausing and reading favorite parts a second or third time However, I soon realized it wasn’t even close to over.

After writing comes even harder processes like editing, revising, query letters, rejection letters, and finally maybe if you’re lucky…the beautiful nature of publication.

Three years down the road and I’m still not published. I still haven’t even begun typing up letters or working back through old pieces with much energy. I have four more completed works to add to my collection, but not one shred of evidence that I’ve truly accomplished anything, at least in the traditional writer sense.

I suppose the one thing that has given me comfort recently was reading about Jane Austen.

I’m not really a lover of Jane overall. She writes beautifully, yes, but I find myself often bored reading through monotonous dinners and lengthy dances. And while I recognize Austen’s irony and wit, I fail to get the same joy many young women do over the most esteemed Mr. Darcy. However, my one small piece of true infatuation with Austen is this: she wrote her books young and she didn’t publish them for many more years down the road, and not without ridiculous amounts of revision.

It can be hard as an author to get done with one task and then have to proceed to working on another. And while I’d set my sights on trying to edit and then move to query letter stages with my last novel, I have been swept up in a senior project of writing a novella over the course of the semester which has hindered my editing abilities. But that hasn’t made me lose hope.

Life is tricky. We do things only to have more work thrust in front of us. We regularly find that the job takes more than one step, and even when finished there’s another job finished. But that doesn’t mean we should give up. It simply means we push forward with more vigor, with more hopes of continuing to improve and learn and grow.

So as I finish the mark of this hundredth post and look forward towards the more to come, I look with joy rather than dread. For there is plenty more time to come, to write, to edit, to submit, to face rejection, and to carry on in the face of hard work.

For more on author’s publishing period see: http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/books/what-age-did-well-known-authors-publish-their-most-famous-works

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What To Do When Children Are Surpassing You?

It was a Saturday afternoon as I was strolling through Costco. I was glancing at the various displays from giant packs of batteries, to fancy furniture. But as my family passed by the book section something caught my eye.

A table was set up. And at it sat someone with books in front of them.

A book signing? Really? In Costco of all places?

I stared for a moment, surprised. I was wondering who it could possibly be, and if I’d heard of them perchance. And then I finally looked at the face of the writer sitting at that small table in the busy Saturday rush of the store.

She had glasses. Straight brown hair around her face. A posture that indicated not too many books were getting picked up. But those things were not what I noticed most. No, the writer sitting there looked younger than me. In fact, she looked to be a child.

For a moment I thought there was a mistake. Maybe the writer had left their child there while they went to go to the bathroom…um…or…

I couldn’t come up with possibilities. I simply was puzzled by this little girl sitting at the table looking bored. And then I finally took a glance at the signs to see if I recognized the author.

I don’t remember her name, but the biggest words on the signs were: Twelve-year-old author.

I took a moment to simply take that little fact in before I began to bemoan my family with the horrors of being surpassed by children. I am twenty! I am in the prime of my life! And yet somehow I have yet to publish a novel and this little girl has (though admittedly it could have been self-published).

What do you do when life seems to be slipping away and suddenly children are rising up to take the spots on bookshelves that you have dreamed of for ages? Is there a good way to get over that horrifying blow that you are frankly running out of chances and other younger authors are taking them in your place?

I don’t have a true answer. I guess it just takes perseverance. Keep trying. Never give up. Even after twenty rejection letters. It may sound redundant and silly but that really has to be the key. If twelve-year-old girls can do it, why can’t you?

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