One thing I have learned is that there are plenty of people who call themselves writers, but only talk about writing. There are equally as many who are hesitant to give themselves that title unless they currently have a bestseller.
So that begs the question, which one of these categories do I fall into? And why in the world do I think I should be on here, blogging merrily away, as if I know what I’m talking about?
I was a talker, who dreamed big and did little to get my dreams turned into reality. I did write and take first place in a baby food fiction contest. The “Similac Mom's $130K Payday Contest” in 2006. It wasn’t the grand prize but it was still 2500 dollars and recognition for work I did. But then I petered and pooped out. I didn’t know the next step and being a new mom I was usually too exhausted to think about anything but sleep when I got a free moment from taking care of my son.
There were friend’s who urged, write about being a new mom, moving away from home, being a new wife. Write about true life experiences. In essence they were perpetuating the popular belief that one can only write about what they know first hand. That is a blog for another day where I will get into my urban legend theory. Be patient.
So, this is where I became friends with Sunny Frazier, who has seen a lot, done a lot and written a lot! She has successfully managed her career as a writer, including publicity, promotion and financial management. Sunny had also learned the tricky navigation of the small and somewhat claustrophobic world of publishing. What she really knew how to do was propel me from being a talker to a doer through guerilla writer wordfare. She was tough, blunt, fair, honest and most of all ruthlessly objective. That was what I needed, and it is, I believe, what many writers need. If you want coddling or someone to coo and fuss over your literary creation like a newborn baby in swaddling cloths, too cute for anything but compliments, then by all means, stay on the sidelines. What Sunny said to me and what I pass on to whoever is reading this is, don’t talk it, do it. If you talk a story through you lose the incentive to write it. You have essentially taken away the lust for creation. Let’s face it, you’d better have a lot of passion and lust to write or your writing career, like a new relationship, will never get past the good-night kiss on the cheek.
Keep this firmly in mind. All stories should be a mystery until they are written, even to the writer. I will talk more, in another blog, about how an overly detailed outline can kill a story before the first word is typed.
Guerilla writers get out, get it done and keep right on going. That includes sending out your work to contests, online e-zines, whatever you can think of. It also means getting rejected, then rejected again and probably rejected more times than you get accepted. Everything you can do to propel your writing off the page and onto the consciousness of an audience is a success. Failure is not only not an option, it’s not a possibility as long as you are trying!
That old adage about success being 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration is never more true than with writing.
So who am I? I am a private in the guerilla army of writers. I’m a learner, an explorer, a student and I am not a quitter. This blog helps me to keep my focus, as well as share what I’m learning, how I’m growing as a writer and becoming successful at it. It may help someone else, inspire them or it may just irk them because I feel confident enough to put myself out there for censure or for support.
The question is, who are you? Talker, or doer, writer or wisher. Writer or not.