Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard. Allen Ginsberg
So you want to be a writer. The question is, are you writing, actually getting words on paper that will become something? Wanting to do is not the same as doing, and I wanted to write for years, but now I am finally doing, and life rolls along about the same as it did before, except there is now an added dimension to my life.
The more we add to our lives the more we will get out of it. A big part of what we need to add is what takes care of our body and feeds our soul. This is our life we only get one shot at it. Are we enjoying our relationships, or are outside pursuits taking too much time away so those important relationships are being hurt?
What does a successful life look like? When we look at our lives are we proud of the choices we’ve made?
Yesterday, I chose to spend my day at the “Breakthrough to Writer’ Success” – Writers Industry Day put on by the Mississauga Arts Council. It was a lovely day spent with fellow writers. Two writers’ groups had tables on topics of interest to writers and I was at the self-publishing and journaling table. The tables were so busy I didn’t get much of a chance to mix and mingle; I spent my time talking to people interested in self-publishing and journaling.
Self-publishing works for some of us and others feel without being published by a traditional publisher their work is diminished. My thoughts on the subject are to go after what you want, do the best work you can, and put it out into the world. Then write your next best book. Building a writing platform so people get to know who you are might be something you can do or it might not be, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. Joseph Chilton Pearce
We need to be okay with the turn our lives take, and writing is no different. When we write and self-publish or are traditionally published, we are taking a turn on the wheel of fortune. Will that spin take us to fame and fortune – not likely, but for some, it does. Do we want the feeling of accomplishment from setting a goal, making it happen, and moving on to the next step? This is what it is for me.
I’ve written and self-published four books and am working on two more. I love the process of being a writer, the reality of holding my books in my hand, and hearing that others enjoyed them. Writing is a solitary pursuit, it feeds our soul, and sometimes, it feeds our bank account.
Writing is especially good for those of us as we enter our later years. We’ve lived a life, we have something to say, and our self-worth shouldn’t depend on how many sales we get on Amazon or through a traditional publisher. Taking up writing is more like a pastime than an economic endeavor, some people feel writers should be paid for their time, some are paid handsomely for theirs, and others not so much.
I’m okay with that and taking my spin on the writing wheel of fortune, and where it stops, no one knows. Some writers reach acclaim in their lifetime and are then forgotten and some are still being read years after their death. Some writers entertain us, some make us think, and some will change how we look at life forever.
We all impact people in our lives and some of us will only impact people we know, but who knows what impact the people they impact will have. We don’t know what the impact of our life will be, but if we live in such a way that those we meet, and those who live with us are impacted in a good way, then we should find contentment in a life well-lived.
Is it better to be known and loved by those who never meet us or to be loved by those who do know us?
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all other; read a lot and write a lot. Stephen King
For better or worse, most of my writing life has been about people that work behind the scenes. I’m interested in finding extraordinary moments in otherwise normal people. Mark Boal
Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers. Ray Bradbury
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