When I first took up writing romance novels with an all-out passion, I knew absolutely nothing about the genre, or the business of writing. No notion of the massive journey that lay ahead. I was as unwitting as a newly hatched duckling, and thought I could embark on this quest and sail along.
I remember the first contest I entered, assuming I would win, of course. I was mentally planning my award acceptance speech when I received my scores. Not good, would you believe. I was stunned. One judge tossed me a bone. ‘You have talent,’ she assured me, ‘as evidenced in your flair for description.
Another bemused judge observed, ‘You broke every rule.’
‘Rules?’ I mused. ‘There’s rules?’
I mean, who knew?
After a three day pout, I resumed the journey.
Somewhere along this rugged uphill climb, a kind soul directed me to RWA. I can’t imagine how I would have grasped the rudiments without them and other writing groups. Always before me lay a new turn in the path, another hurdle to master, and onward ho I went like a sled dog through blinding snow, uncertain where shelter lay. Quitting might have been threatened, but was never a real option. No one ever achieves success by abandoning the quest. I knew that. Still do. So, wherever you are in the process, whether reveling in your stardom, or just undertaking this life changing journey, keep going. It’s a well worn path and there are kindly guides along the way.
My basic thinking about writing is that stuff’s gotta happen or you lose the reader’s attention. Onward ho.
Some wise quotes for inspiration:
If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow
A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy
Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien
I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown
A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ~W. Somerset Maugham
Writing comes more easily if you have something to say. ~Sholem Asch
I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork. ~Peter De Vries
Publication — is the auction of the Mind of Man. ~Emily Dickinson