As I sit here waiting for responses to the query letters I have in circulation, I find myself contemplating the possibilities of ever becoming published. And as I do I’m reminded of all the cards stacked against me (or so I’m told). No formal writing background. I haven’t written a million words yet. I don’t read near enough. My grammar sucks. I can’t type. I have a full-time job + with little time for revision schedules, much less promotional activities. And I’m so introverted that I can tell my doctor what my x-rays say.
A literary agent’s wet dream, right?!
So, what the heck am I doing? What hope do I possibly have? With all that I’m up against, why am I here? I’ll tell you why. Because…frankly… I said F*ck it! I decided put aside my own reservations and listen to the people closest to me who tell me my book deserves to be published. I chose to believe my critique partners who also praised it and urged me to push forward. I opted to ignore common sense and think like a kid again, reverting back to a time when possibilities went untarnished by grown-up pessimism. But what about those cards stacked against me? Here’s what I have to say about those.
No formal writing background….F*ck it! That just means I never pursued it before now. The drive and determination to secure my family’s financial & social stability was always my first priority and I never had the creative time to develop this secret passion, until recently. It doesn’t mean that the talent isn’t there, and been there all along.
I haven’t written a million words yet…F*ck it! Personally, I don’t buy into this belief and even if others do, I have written two novels, numerous short stories, and dozens of work related manuals. At what point does quality versus quantity come into play?
I don’t read enough…F*ck it! Do you really need to constantly have a book in your hand? Read one book a week? A month? What is enough? Are we reading to become writers…or mimics?
My grammar sucks…F*ck it! I’m learning more and more every day and besides, between my critique partners and a couple reasonably priced copy editors, they’ve helped me shore up my short comings.
I can’t type…F*ck it! Truman Capote wrote his first versions in longhand. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
I have a full-time + job…F*ck it! Well, not the job, but the fact that free-time is at a premium. I get 4 weeks of vacation every year and weekends spent at my writing desk are common place. Devoting free time on an uncertainty is one thing, spending it ensuring success is another.
I’m introverted…F*ck it! Instruct me to go up to a complete stranger and ask for a stick of gum…ain’t happening, but if the same stranger comes up to me and wants to ask me a question about my writing, I’ll talk his ear off! I may not be a conversationalist, and I loathe small talk, but given the right topic (namely a writers passion), it won’t be a problem.
There may be this mold that published authors typically fit into, but I can guarantee you it won’t fit me, and I could care less. A more refined writer might have explained my position by saying I’m throwing caution to the wind, or that I’m revolting against a feeling of hopelessness and despair. I can only say that I am who I am, and today I’m embracing the more youthful approach.
Anyway, it makes a catchy blog title! :)
- DL Hammons
- Continually trying to answer the question...can a man of few words write a successful novel?
I'm a Mystery/Thriller/Suspense writer from small town USA who struggles everyday to balance my passion for prose against the need to be a full-time bread winner. Finding ways to devote more time to my writing is the challenge, but for now all I can do is follow this tug at my heart to wherever it leads. I'm here primarily to soak up all the knowledge I can from the writing-centric blogosphere, but I'll do my best to contribute by thinking of new and innovative ways to churn the writing pot.