What if I Fail as a Writer?


What if I Fail as a Writer?

Rory C. Keel

 

So you want to be a writer but you’re afraid of failure. Perhaps your dream is to write a novel, publish an article in a magazine, or write a famous screenplay but the idea of failing keeps you from ever starting. Putting the “cart before the horse,” as they say, can skew a person’s thinking.

Here are five steps to help realign your thinking so you can achieve your dream of success.

  1. Realize success comes in steps.

Achieving any goal is like walking up a staircase, it has to be one step at a time. Honestly assess where you are in your writing skills. Do you understand grammar and sentence structure? Perhaps you’re farther along and need to work on story telling or plotting?

By knowing where you are on the staircase of writing, you can know what your next step is. That next step is success.

   2. Reaching the next step can be difficult.

Famous authors such as Stephen King, Charles Frazier, Larry McMurtry, J.K. Rowling didn’t reach fame in one day. It takes hours of putting one word next to another, days of sitting in a chair, months of research and rewriting, and sometimes years of waiting for a project to be noticed. Take one step today and another tomorrow and you will be successful.

   3. You will run into obstacles.

Have you ever walked through the house in the dark to get a drink from the kitchen and stubbed your toe on the coffee table? Immediately you scream OBSTACLES!

Understand there will be hindrances to your writing such as finding time to write, family members that need attention, or even the need to make a living and pay the bills.

That’s life. These things still exist for famous authors, they have just learned to prioritize and deal with them.

   4. Surround yourself with other writers.

By surrounding yourself with other writers, you set yourself up to succeed. Learn from others who have what you want. Success is a level small or great not a final ending. So when you associate with those who desire to write and have a mindset to accomplish goals, you become motivated to move along with them.  Famous authors haven’t reached the pinnacle, they only have a greater level of what you can achieve in a small step tomorrow – SUCCESS!

   5. Never, ever, give up on your dream.

“Lots of people limit their possibilities by giving up easily. Never tell yourself this is too much for me. It’s no use. I can’t go on. If you do, you’re licked, and by your own thinking, too. Keep believing and keep on keeping on.” — Norman Vincent Peale

roryckeel.com

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What if I Fail as a Writer?


What if I Fail as a Writer?

Rory C. Keel

 

So you want to be a writer but you’re afraid of failure. Perhaps your dream is to write a novel, publish an article in a magazine, or write a famous screenplay but the idea of failing keeps you from ever starting. Putting the “cart before the horse,” as they say, can skew a person’s thinking.

Here are five steps to help realign your thinking so you can achieve your dream of success.

  1. Realize success comes in steps.

Achieving any goal is like walking up a staircase, it has to be one step at a time. Honestly assess where you are in your writing skills. Do you understand grammar and sentence structure? Perhaps you’re farther along and need to work on story telling or plotting?

By knowing where you are on the staircase of writing, you can know what your next step is. That next step is success.

   2. Reaching the next step can be difficult.

Famous authors such as Stephen King, Charles Frazier, Larry McMurtry, J.K. Rowling didn’t reach fame in one day. It takes hours of putting one word next to another, days of sitting in a chair, months of research and rewriting, and sometimes years of waiting for a project to be noticed. Take one step today and another tomorrow and you will be successful.

   3. You will run into obstacles.

Have you ever walked through the house in the dark to get a drink from the kitchen and stubbed your toe on the coffee table? Immediately you scream OBSTACLES!

Understand there will be hindrances to your writing such as finding time to write, family members that need attention, or even the need to make a living and pay the bills.

That’s life. These things still exist for famous authors, they have just learned to prioritize and deal with them.

   4. Surround yourself with other writers.

By surrounding yourself with other writers, you set yourself up to succeed. Learn from others who have what you want. Success is a level small or great not a final ending. So when you associate with those who desire to write and have a mindset to accomplish goals, you become motivated to move along with them.  Famous authors haven’t reached the pinnacle, they only have a greater level of what you can achieve in a small step tomorrow – SUCCESS!

   5. Never, ever, give up on your dream.

“Lots of people limit their possibilities by giving up easily. Never tell yourself this is too much for me. It’s no use. I can’t go on. If you do, you’re licked, and by your own thinking, too. Keep believing and keep on keeping on.” — Norman Vincent Peale

roryckeel.com

The Submit Button


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Submit Button

By Nandy Ekle

I have one huge phobia, and that’s spiders. Yeah, that’s right. I openly admit this phobia. I always say that I am not ashamed and am actually very comfortable with my pet phobia.

There is one other thing that frightens me a little, and that is the submit button. This one little thing can paralyze me as completely as a single spider can. I can not count the times my hand has hovered over the button while my brain tries to talk me out of pushing it. “Don’t do it,” it says. “They’ll laugh.” It continues. Then the organ inside my head turns ugly. “You know the story still isn’t right. There’s gaping plot holes and unbelievable dialogue. And your grammar and punctuation are no better than a third grader.”

If my finger still aims at that little button, my gray matter turns mean and hateful. “Who are you kidding? You can’t write a story. Just listen to your so-called style. This is just a silly waste of time and paper. Are you sure you want to bear your soul to strangers so they can laugh at you and point at you? You’re nothing but a useless blob behind a computer keyboard with delusions of grandeur.”

Sometimes I believe the whole spiel. I let all that bullying talk freeze my hand and stop my breathing. Just like seeing a giant spider, my fingers curl back into my hand and I close the computer lid and do something else.

But sometimes I turn on some music and remember the promise I made to my characters to find them a home. Then I close my eyes and . . . push submit. Air rushes into my lungs and my arms feel as though they could lift a house. That’s when I know my success is not whether or not my work is accepted. My success is in squashing the monster.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

The Submit Button


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Submit Button

By Nandy Ekle

I have one huge phobia, and that’s spiders. Yeah, that’s right. I openly admit this phobia. I always say that I am not ashamed and am actually very comfortable with my pet phobia.

There is one other thing that frightens me a little, and that is the submit button. This one little thing can paralyze me as completely as a single spider can. I can not count the times my hand has hovered over the button while my brain tries to talk me out of pushing it. “Don’t do it,” it says. “They’ll laugh.” It continues. Then the organ inside my head turns ugly. “You know the story still isn’t right. There’s gaping plot holes and unbelievable dialogue. And your grammar and punctuation are no better than a third grader.”

If my finger still aims at that little button, my gray matter turns mean and hateful. “Who are you kidding? You can’t write a story. Just listen to your so-called style. This is just a silly waste of time and paper. Are you sure you want to bear your soul to strangers so they can laugh at you and point at you? You’re nothing but a useless blob behind a computer keyboard with delusions of grandeur.”

Sometimes I believe the whole spiel. I let all that bullying talk freeze my hand and stop my breathing. Just like seeing a giant spider, my fingers curl back into my hand and I close the computer lid and do something else.

But sometimes I turn on some music and remember the promise I made to my characters to find them a home. Then I close my eyes and . . . push submit. Air rushes into my lungs and my arms feel as though they could lift a house. That’s when I know my success is not whether or not my work is accepted. My success is in squashing the monster.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Success


Success

By Rory C. Keel

I revisited an article on success written when I served as President of the Panhandle Professional Writers organization. It helps to keep me moving forward and successful in my writing.

President’s report by Rory Craig Keel 

“The word successful is an adjective that is defined as “accomplishing an aim or purpose.”

Some of us have been successful in our writing by simply starting the writing process, or by learning how to write better. Others have been successful in completing and having a piece of work published. Yet others were successful in marketing their completed and published works.

Being successful is not a static or finite level a person reaches, never to be pushed off as if they were playing King of the Hill, but it is a description of someone that continues to move forward in their goals.

January 2010 PPW Window, 

Here is my simple plan for success.

1. Today – Set an achievable goal and meet it.

2. Tomorrow – Set an achievable goal and meet it.

3. The day after tomorrow – Set an achievable goal and meet it.

When I set small goals and meet them, that’s success.

Don’t wait to be successful, do it today.

roryckeel.com 

Banging My Head Against a Tree


Banging My Head Against a Tree

By Rory C. Keel 

“What a dumb animal!” I said. And I said it loud enough for the bird to hear it. There I stood, on the side of the road with my head turned up into the sky, watching a woodpecker banging his beaked face against a branch of an old dead tree.

Focus

When I spoke he briefly paused, turned his head sideways and gazed down to see where the insult came from. He ignored me and continued his noisy rapping.

Persistent

The bird was unrelenting in his pounding, sounding like a machine gun in a war zone. I wondered if the woodpecker ever got a headache. Questions like, “Does he ever hit a tree so hard his beak shatters? Does he get frustrated after chipping a hole in the tree, only to find nothing? Why can’t the woodpecker be like all the other birds and just eat a bug crawling around in the open?”

I looked to find other feathered feasters and noticed there were none. He was the only bird within view of this barren tree.

The big worms

As he hopped from branch to branch, I watched the red tuft of feathers atop his head bob like a sewing machine needle. Suddenly silence filled the air. One of the biggest grubs I had ever seen wiggled in the very beak that had pounded the dead tree.

Success

There are times in my writing when I feel like I’m banging my head against a tree and it hurts. Sometimes I pound on the computer keyboard until I think it will break only to be disappointed in the results. Occasionally I feel all alone, ready to give up and be like everyone else. When this happens I think about that woodpecker, and how his focus and persistent work helped him get beneath the surface where the big grubs are.