So, you have a dream? You're going to be a published author. "Published Author". Hot dang! Well if that doesn't have a nice ring to it! A book with your name on it. Nice dream. It really is. And a lot of good things start with a dream. I can still hardly wait to see my name on the cover of a book. It is one of my fondest dreams. In fact, it's far beyond being a dream; it's a goal.
So, like many of you, I've been chugging away at making it happen. And in the current publishing landscape, we can hardly keep up with what's involved in realizing it. But there's one truth for anyone who is getting a book out there with their name on the cover: you have to write the book first.
Another D word comes into play. Discipline. Write everyday.Write something, Write anything. Even if it has nothing to do with the novel you're writing. Like anything else, practice improves performance.
Here is where a challenge like NaNoWriMo is beneficial. If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, let me explain. It's short for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place each November. Participants sign up here: National Novel Writing Month then check out the site now and read what it's all about. The idea is to write at least 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. It's another activity that brings writers together. And it motivates you to write everyday, --just like Blogging from A to Z motivates you to write everyday. <--Had to get that plug in here, even though I suspect that if you're here reading this, you're already familiar with the A to Z.
Back to my Ds. So, the book's written, and you've begun to share chapters of it with trusted friends and family. You can't believe they like it! They're praising your writing skill. And then it sneaks up on you. A little voice from somewhere in the wilderness of your mind. In my case, each time someone said, "I didn't know you could write! It's pretty good!", that sneaky little voice qualified their praise with "Yeah, pretty good for a lab tech." Then it continued slapping my confidence. "Not very good for a real writer, though."
That little nagging voice at the back of our minds just won't let up. In some ways, that's good. And in some ways, that's bad. That little nagging voice is a reality check--to not allow praise to go to our heads so much that we stop trying to improve our writing. But it can be bad when it doesn't allow us to recognize when we're on the right track. When we need a pat on the back instead of a kick in the pants. It can be hurtful... downright insulting for such a little voice.
And I have to tell you, that voice is a survivor. It's nearly impossible to silence it. And you are not alone suffering it's insults, it's badgering. There is a group, brainchild of Alex J Cavanaugh (he's a co-captain here at A to Z), called the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Click here IWSG to get a little help, a little loving-- to get you through that doubt. :-)
My final D is for determination. Sometimes you need Dogged Determination to keep you writing. But keep on writing. Write through that doubt to reach the dream ;-)
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