Writing, or the art of finding new and creative ways to express ideas that have for the most part already been shared in some fashion, is rejuvenating and exhilarating. Nothing beats the sensation of putting to paper an emotion or conflict that has moved your life in some manner. To explore an imaginary world, to re-write an experience so your heroine comes out the victor, or at least bests your nemesis with wit and candor.
As writers of fiction, we agonize over the flow of events that carry our characters through their conflict to a resolution. Ask yourself, what if Harry Potter had never met Ron on the train platform? Would they have bonded over trading wizard cards before the house sorting? Would Harry have wished himself into Gryffindor with such vigour?
You may call it networking, however, I choose to believe that the amazing individuals who have entered my writing life were gifted through moments of serendipity. When I completed my first draft and was looking for writing support, I made a comment to a local bookseller and she gave me Diane’s name. Diane and I formed a writing partnership. We met over a two year period; reading aloud, encouraging each other and eventually we planned our own writing retreat to exchange our full manuscripts. To this day, it still amazes Diane and I both, how ‘fate filled’ our relationship has and continues to be. I have been waiting (rather anxiously) to hear back from an agent, and at lunch this week, I unexpectedly discovered Diane in the same restaurant and her support brought me immeasurable comfort.
(Making time to write when you think your life is too busy!)
If you are going to write, if you are going to call yourself a writer, then write, finish something and put it out there. At a leadership conference I attended recently, part of the training was focused upon scheduling your time. Believe it or not, it wasn’t all about the proper way of saying something or modeling something; a huge chunk of time was spent teaching us how imperative it is to schedule the important stuff.
The gist was – in your life there are the big rocks, the stones, the things you want and must do to achieve success in whatever you do. The time for these things, like writing, is competing with everything else in your life… and let’s face it, if you want to be successful a writer, you need to write. You need to write, and often, until you are so good at it, that someone says, “Man, we gotta publish that!” The other stuff, like watching less than averagely good looking guys wrestle alligators on television, randomly surfing the internet or creeping facebook… is the stuff that will not help your writing career – that stuff is the pebbles, the sand, the dirt. If you fill your jar with pebbles and dirt first – then there is no room for the stones.