A Writer’s Quote Series Episode Fifteen
This writer’s quote by the southern author Melinda Haynes is the perfect one to stumble upon at the first of the new year:
“Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.”
I think the reason I like this quote so much is that it reminds me that although writing is a lot of work, it’s something to be celebrated.
Forget all the rules
This is a toughie, especially if you’re trying to improve your craft.
Rules can be tweaked after the fact. For example, many older writers still have trouble not putting two spaces after a period. The current rule is one space between sentences.
When you are in the throes of writing, the last thing you should be worried about is spacing. All you need to do is get your ideas, no matter how messy, down on the page so that you can make them pretty later. Spaces, as well as a slew of other “rules”, can be fixed with a simple search and replace function.
Don’t let the rules get in the way of your writing!
Forget about being published
Recently, a new writer reached out to me to ask about independent publishing. He wanted to know the steps involved and how to go about designing a cover and did he really need to spend money on an editor.
I asked this young writer how far along he was on his book. He replied, “Well, I haven’t started it yet. I plan to do that next year.”
He was worried about publishing something that didn’t exist, putting the cart before the horse, counting his chickens, etc..
It’s easy to get sucked in by the thought of having your work published, perhaps one day seeing your book on the shelf beside a Stephen King or Louise Penny. But all that time spent on trying to figure out how to publish is a detriment to your creativity and will keep you stalled at the planning stage.
Books don’t get published unless they are first written.
Getting stuck on the publishing aspect is nothing but a diversion from the real work, which is to write.
Write for yourself and celebrate writing
There’s a lot of advice floating around in the writing world about writing to market, and that’s fine as long as the market you choose fits you, your writing style, and your overall writing goals.
As a teenager, I couldn’t get enough of vampire books. I loved them. And there are still some vampire niches that can be quite profitable for an author.
Writing about vampires will not feed this middle-aged woman’s soul. It’s not how I want to spend my writing time. I have to find a genre that will make me eager to show up at the page and celebrate when my writing time is over.
I always celebrate writing milestones with a martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. I’d love to know how you celebrate your writing accomplishments!
Thanks for reading.
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