Monday, September 30, 2013

Getting Serious About Writing

(If you're reading this on blogger, I also have a new Wordpress site here. It is attached to my new website www.rebeccataylorbooks.com But I'll still be posting here for all my Blogger friends!)

So this is my first post from my new site! Everything is weird and I don't know where anything is...huh, feels just like my new job! I will still be posting all my blog writings to both sites (this Wordpress and my old Blogger account because, well sometimes you feel like a nut--sometimes you don't!)

Speaking of the new job at Nelson Literary, that has actually been going really well--now that I'm a bit further away from the bottom of the learning curve. Everyone there has been super wonderful and helpful and patient as I try to figure everything out. I've been loving it! But this post is not about any of that--amazingly.

No, this post is about a thought I had while attending the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference this year. While schmoozing, and chatting, and eating, and talking all things writing and books--it occurred to me that I had, finally, managed to come a long way from the place I was the first time I attended a writers conference.

A long way indeed.

At that first conference I had never even finished writing a book--and now I had completed four. At that first conference, I had no idea what an literary agent did--never mind that I might need one (or better yet, how to go about getting one!) Now, not only did I have an agent but I worked for one as well! At that first conference, I was terrified to let anyone read my work. Now, not only have lots of people read my book but they've writen reviews--PUBLIC REVIEWS on Amazon, B&N.com, and Goodreads.

All of that progress is great, fantastic stuff, but when I think of the single biggest factor that is different between then and now, I would have to point the finger at how I approach my writing. My approach to writing and how I view myself as a writer is the single greatest change that has occurred--and it has also been the foundation from which all those other great things have sprung from.

For me, everything about my writing and my writing career began to change when I began to take my writing and my writing career seriously.

It was when it was no longer a hobby.

It was when I began to invest, time and money, in my writing.

It was when I started thinking of my writing as another job.

It was when writing was no longer optional, it was something I had to do.

Suddenly, I was no longer a ___________ hoping to be a writer someday. I was just, a writer.
I think, for quite awhile, I was waiting for someone else to tell me it was okay to get serious about being a writer. I was waiting for permission. I was afraid that if I simply declared myself a writer that, pretty soon, some real writer would come along and ask to see my credentials while giving me a Jonathan Franzen looking scowl.

So, here's my two cents. No one will ever come and give you permission--YOU have to take your writing seriously first before you can ever hope for anyone else to believe in it. Others will follow your lead. If you're embarrassed about your writing--others will be embarrassed for you. If you're dismissive of your writing--others will dismiss your writing too. If you believe you've written a good story (and you've made it the best you possibly can) you will find some people who like your story too (just don't expect EVERYONE to like it because EVERYONE never does ;-)

So there, cheers to taking your writing seriously, cheers to believing in yourself, and cheers to taking the steps towards making you dreams a reality. Because dreams are wonderful things, but you have to take the physical steps to move towards them, in this here and now, if you ever want to hold that image in your hands.