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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

All I've Got- IWSG July 2018


It's IWSG Day.  The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader. Co-Hosts: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne! To read posts from other IWSG members, click here. 

This month, the OPTIONAL IWSG Day question is: 

What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)? 

I feel like I’ve written this post before, but here goes. My ultimate goal is to publish my novels via a traditional publishing process. 

Eight or nine years ago, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron changed my life. Recently unemployed, I’d determined that writing HAD to be a part of my new incarnation but wasn’t sure how that requirement would take shape. I’d blogged like mad for a while and my essays here on Middle Passages helped me to shape my writing and find my voice. Then I freelanced, writing magazine articles (fun) and resumes (a skill learned during my former employment and not so fun) until I began to wonder what was next. Perhaps like many folks, I thought (naively), it would be “neat” or “cool” to write a book, not actually thinking I could, until an acquaintance suggested I complete The Artist’s Way course. Essentially, the daily and weekly exercises therein help participants eliminate real or imagined barriers that stifle creativity. In other words, The Artist’s Way dared me to try.

I met that challenge by managing to complete one rough novel and one I will call “better,” after which I amplified my goal to improve my writing and complete a publishable novel. The jury is out on that folks, as I query my third novel and approach the point on a fourth where I'll share it with critical readers.

This much I know now. Writing the best book I can, one that will attract an agent, one that will sell, is so much more than “neat” or “cool,” that it’s hard to put it into words. The process is as energizing and enriching as it is grueling. Sometimes words like daunting and discouraging and even soul-sucking apply. At the same time, I’m as much in love with my stories as I am sick to death of them. They’re my babies. My loves. They’ve given me almost as much joy and angst as my flesh and blood child. And yet, while I’ll be forever proud at what I’ve accomplished to date, my current road is such a tough one, I wonder I’ll ever achieve publication.
But if we’re open to them, there are messages in the universe to encourage us to carry on. Today, I read the following:

You have three choices in life. Give up. Give in, or, give it all you've got. 

Lord help me, I’m pretty sure there’s only one choice there.

What has it taken for you to meet your writing goals? 

Wishing all my American readers a Happy Independence Day!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Neat and cool go right out the window when you get serious.
I've followed your journey for years and it will be so exciting when you get a book deal!

Nicki Elson said...

Sounds like you're already going strong on that third choice. With your determination and willingness to constantly learn and improve, you'll get there for sure.

I'm not published traditionally, but the first original novel I ever wrote was picked up by a small publisher a few years after I wrote it - I always thought I'd "lucked out" but honestly, at times I wish it had never been published. It was very much a first-timer novel. I had so much energy and innovative strategy for marketing it back then and put a TON of legwork into selling that book, but now I can look back and see that without a quality novel (or a crap novel that strikes a unique chord w/ readers), all that effort was wasted. I wish I'd have waited to put that marketing effort into a book that was more worthy of it. So, all this is to say, I think you're on a smart path.

Happy 4th!

Juneta key said...

Love that quote. So true. Sounds like you are on your path. Wishing much success and happy writings.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I so agree with this statement: "The process is as energizing and enriching as it is grueling." Isn't it awesome? :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Love the quote. It sounds like you know what your path is. Many authors write many manuscripts before they land an agent. If you stay committed, hopefully you'll reach your goal too.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Love this! - "You have three choices in life. Give up. Give in, or, give it all you've got."

I read The Artist's Way ages ago - amazing. Another similar type book I'm re-reading/loving again is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Cherie Reich said...

Best of luck with your goals! It sounds like The Artist's Way was inspirational to get you writing novel-length work.

Melanie Rickmann said...

I really like that quote, and yep, there's really only 1 good choice there! Where can I find a copy of "The Artist's Way"? Sounds like something I need so that I can achieve my writing goals.

Tamara Narayan said...

I'm still interested in traditional publishing, but not sure that it will ever happen.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You're determined and committed to giving it "all you've got," so I'm sure you'll succeed. Thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog. You made my day. :)

Nick Wilford said...

Here's to giving it all you've got! It's the only thing to do if you're truly serious about following your passion and sharing your stories with the world. I wish you the best of luck.

Joanne said...

you do have to keep on plugging even if it means steps backwards. But then tilt into the wind and keep writing. I've enjoyed your evolution through the years and your finished product shall be worthy. And have fun with it too!

Connie said...

I hope you continue to give it all you've got, because I think you've got what it takes to get published traditionally!

Stephen Tremp said...

Hi Liza long time no see thanks for stopping by and saying hi! In the famous word of Dora from finding Nemo, "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming."

Pixel Peeper said...

I don't write (well, addendum letters for engineering reports...ha!), but I realize that the notion that if you do something that you love it comes easy is totally unrealistic. It's still WORK.

Good luck!