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Tenacity and Writing : Writers' Block Party • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Tenacity and Writing

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
Aspiring
 

RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby Aspiring » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:58 am

I'm feeling slightly rejuvinated and so I'll share this: I've written business-to-business for years, but haven't been able to break into consumer magazines. When I called my dad to tell him a little local parent magazine was going to publish an essay I'd written and it didn't pay but I would get a byline, he told me Frank Sinatra sang for free for years before becoming rich and famous.

I'm not looking to be famous or even rich, but somehow the writing process is unfinished for me if there's no one to read my novel because it's not published, and so I keep submitting.

Curious
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RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby Curious » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:01 am

Lisa, that's a wonderful story and a wonderful saying! I'm going to share that with my family, too.

I love writing stories. It's the best way I know to get lost in a book. When I'm feeling discouraged, that's what I like to do: run away to the writing. I stop noticing myself when I'm with my characters.

And I never EVER let myself doubt my talent. I find faults in my writing, but I don't find fault with myself. When my editor points out a problem, I immediately think, "Of COURSE I can fix that! I'm the writer." And I do because I am.

And, as James has pointed out before, on days when I REALLY can't seem to get anything going, I just sit there and keep working. Because that's the only way I'm gonna get paid!

Clare

OmenSpirits.com
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RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby OmenSpirits.com » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:51 am


Jamesaritchie
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RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby Jamesaritchie » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:53 am

I've always been a bit skeptical about the role of self-confidence. It can be a fine thing if everything goes well, if your self-confidence is quickly rewarded. But the trouble with self-confidence is that when things don't go well, self-confidence can crumble, and if self-confidence is what was keeping you going, then you'll crumble with it. Self-confidence brings with its alter ego, lack of self-confidence. And like dual personalities, one and then the other takes control.

Confidence is largely a western idea. Particularly self-confidence. Anyone who has made serious study of martial arts knows that when you're about to get into a fight there are two things you should never, ever think about. . .winning and losing. If you think about either, you'll probably lose. Why? Because thinking about winning brings self-confidence into play, and also brings lack of self-confidence. Both can kill you in a fight.

So you clear your mind and think about nothing. You act and react, you just do what needs to be done without any conscious thought. Winning and losing do not matter. There's only action and reaction.

This philosophy is carried over into all aspect of life. You do not think "Can I Do That? Am I Good Enough?" If writing is what you wish to do, you think, "I will write, and I will continue to write AS LONG AS DOING SO PLEASES MY SOUL. When, for whatever reason, writing no longer pleases my soul, I will stop writing and do something else that satisfies me.

I like this much better than the western approach. Nothing is a bigger traitor, a more treacherous companion, than self-confidence. I try to bring this approach to every new thing I do. It does away with fear, with ups and downs, with depression, and makes a ghost of lack of self-confidence.

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Georganna
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RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby Georganna » Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:18 pm

Somehow "rejections" in the field of writing have been blown all out of proportion to the point that beginners are more afraid of rejections than they are of their own ignorance or lack of talent and training. 

Consequently, I set my students' first goal to be acquiring ten rejections just as quickly as possible.  This has the double benefit of getting them into the habit of submitting material and learning they aren't going to die when they receive a rejection.  The lucky ones receive a rejection with content that helps them become better writers. 

I also send them to rejectioncollection.com to learn how to laugh at the object of disaffection.


abqwriter
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RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby abqwriter » Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:00 pm


Prof Durden
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RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby Prof Durden » Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:09 pm

I write because it, sometimes, is the onlyl way I can let those on the outside in my head. I'm a very solitary person, I observe, I hate conversing with people, but I think I have a lot of good ideas that I can share with people. Sometimes, when I submit a story somewhere, I get a note back saying that I can't be printed because my content is too graphic.

So to reinspire myself, I crack open the latest volume of Palahniuk. If he can do it, why can't I?

My sister is also very supportive of my writing. She waits tables at the local Pizza Hut, so I go in there frequently and take a table to write for the entirety of her shift, drinking free beer and wings while I'm at it. As a result of my big tipping, the entire staff there loves what I do, even if they don't quite "get" it.

Basically, I write to:

1)Stick it to the man.
2) Free beer
3) My sister
4) My fianc'e

Curious
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RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby Curious » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:21 pm

James, I love your point about self-confidence. I think that when we think too hard about how we're able to write, we wind up being like the centipede who couldn't walk anymore because she started thinking about exactly how she managed to control all those legs. It's best just to do it.

Clare

jasipper
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RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby jasipper » Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:29 am


Aspiring
 

RE: Tenacity and Writing

Postby Aspiring » Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:32 am

I like the idea of writing in a Pizza Hut. Last year when my twins were in preschool 3 afternoons a week, I'd drop them off and go sit at Panera with a latte and a pad and pen. I didn't have my lap top yet, but I was still chipping away at the novel. People acted as if I were some kind of local celebrity writer, even though I kept telling them I wasn't even published. I gained 5 pounds over the course of those months (no lie!) and made great progress on the novel. I finally finished it when I got the lap top. Perhaps when I'm in a slump, feeling that lack of confidence, I should pick up and go back to Panera. Sitting among non writers writing something -- anything-- can make you feel like a real writer, even when not (yet) published.

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