Last night I attended the monthly WindyCity RWA meeting. My schedule rarely allows me to go to these wonderful meetings where other writers and authors are gathered to talk about the writing business. Our past president, Denise Swanson, NYT Best Seller,(and a guest blogger here a few months ago!!) was presenting her "Secrets To Success." So of course, I wanted to hear all her secrets and in the meantime catch up on news that is always buzzing at our meetings.
Denise gave us a three step process she uses: Inspiration, Motivation and Persperation! Her success is not built out of fairie dust, magic wands or the path of somebody who knows somebody can get you published. Hard work and dedication found her on the NYT best seller list.
She didn't give up! She chiseled time each day to work on her WIP (work in progress.)
The pages add up if one makes the effort. It always comes down to that - effort and commitment. Denise continues to write each day; she quit her day job and gives her full attention to writing. That alone is a dream for many, a means to support ourselves through our writing. The only way to reach such a mark of success is to keep trying, keep writing, perfecting our words on paper til someone notices.
Over-night success rarely happens in the real world. We all know that. Deep down we understand fame rising out of nowhere actually came from numerous years spent hammering at the keyboard and soliciting to editors and publishers. Denise mentioned her first eleven books did well, but it was her twelth book that hit the NYT best seller list. What an incredible story! She had already been successful with her previous books, but her continued determination and regiment kept her climbing that incredibly slippery slope to reach such acclaim.
I'm inspired by stories such as Denise shared with us last night. It reminded me to not give up, and to keep my spirits up, which translates to, 'don't beat yourself up 'cause you haven't hit your invisible success mark!'
My favorite quote for inspiration comes from an old Clint Eastwood movie, The Outlaw Jose Wales ... the old Indian is rambling about the white man and all the changes they brought. He finishes with the quote, "I endeavor to persevere!" And so as a writer I'm reminded to keep pushing, keep working, keep reaching for the star of success. It's the only way to succeed.
So, what keeps me writing?
Mostly my characters. I see them wandering around in my head, wondering if I'm going to finish their story. I can't leave them stranded. I am their voice and so I put my butt in the chair and continue on.
My pride keeps me writing. I want to finish what I've started. My stories keep spreading out before me and I write diligently to keep up. It's exhausting, but I'm too proud to quit. I'm not a quitter. I believe I mentioned this before.
I love the creations I've made. I relate it to having children. My books are my babies. I protect them, perhaps a bit too much, but I want each to find a good home and that means a good publishing place where they will be treated with respect.
I can't stop myself! I firmly believe a writer has to write or they are not happy within themselves. Or so it is with me.
So how about you? What keeps you writing?
I'd love to hear your reasons.
Til next time ~