Monday, September 21, 2009

Your Core

I admit, I've been enjoying my time in my foxhole. Why? Because I've started to really get into the heart of why I write. And, surprise surprise, it's not to have my book published.

Is that one of my goals? Sure. But it's not the be-all-end-all reason I write. And it shouldn't be for you, either. Why?

Because even after that book is published, you still have to write the next one. Only this time, you won't have the luxury of making your own deadlines or watching your favorite t.v. show instead of writing. You also won't have the luxury of keeping your story on your hard-drive where it's safe. No, it's going to be in front of editors and reviewers and readers. And that, my friends, opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.

If you do not have the strength and fortitude of knowing why you write - really why you write - to sustain you through the publishing world, you won't survive. You need to have the reasons why you write locked tight inside the very core of your soul, ready and waiting for the time that you want to give up the game and chuck your latest contracted manuscript into the trash.

Now I'm speaking from the unpublished side of things. I don't know what it's like on the other side. I have an inkling, thanks to the great published authors out there who share their experiences. But in reading books on writing from those who are published, I keep hearing the same thing.

After you're published, you still have to write. Only I think that writing is now even harder than it was before. Why? Because you've got an audience, you've got an editor, you've (maybe) got an agent, you've got reviewers, etc. And in the midst of all that, you still have to churn out your next book. So the question of, "Why am I doing this?" will surely come up when the pressure is on, when the deadline is days away, when the reviews are nasty.

You need to rely on that core.

I think that at this stage of the game, laying the foundation of who I really am as a writer is a necessary and vital part of making sure I can navigate the publishing world. Let's face it. It's not going to be easy. The heavens will not part and I will not suddenly be gifted with flawless words and a perfect life when my book is published.

So before that publishing moment happens, I need to establish my writing core and focus on why I write.

What about you?


  1. Super post! What you've brought up is crucial for any serious writer to consider.

    I feel the same way, for under my dream of publication stands the desire to create, to manipulate words, to tell a good (and then better) story.


  2. My core, I sincerely believe, is my craving to create something. Just living life, working, watching television day after day all that cyclical,mundane stuff is suffocating. Ah, but to create . . .

  3. This was perfect! I so agree with you. If we don't know first why we write, I don't think we will survive, meaning we may grow to hate it and see it as a chore. thank you! I hope all is well with you:)

  4. Perfectly in keeping with where I am right now. As usual, you pinned the truth down.

    In fact, the more I write, the less important actual publication is...because it's the icing on the cake, sure, but the cake is so satisfying without it.

  5. Nicely put. I'd been terrific at keeping a schedule and writing to my own deadlines, until about six months ago. My deadlines no longer worked for me because I had more responsibilities. Now, I'm once again experimenting with how long it takes me to complete a book. In the meantime, I refuse to beat myself up about it!

  6. Great post.

    I love being able to write what I like, and when I like, although would love to be published. I think it's good to enjoy being pre-published and be able to take the time to make the most of doing something enjoyable.

  7. I write because I cannot do anything else. I write because my soul is a writer and words are how I build and shape my world. I write because if I don't, I'll go totally loony. I write because I love it.
    And I love this post.

  8. As someone who makes my living writing -- no day job -- the daily challenge is to balance your love of the actual process and your commitment to your own integrity to the need to be a savvy business person.

    Otherwise, you might be published someday, but you won't make a living at it.

    One of the downsides of writing for a living is that there's less room to do something that might miss the mark. One of the things I love is to try anything, and when you're locked into contracts, those paying you want definites; they're not necessarily interested in letting you spread your wings.

  9. I write because I have to. If I didn't I'd go mad. However, I often have to remind myself of that. Sometimes, when you have to fit in with publishers' schedules, it can feel like a chore.


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