28 March, 2017

Must Haves for Writers

Some "must haves" for aspiring writers are obvious—a computer or pen and pad, a good dictionary, a Chicago Style Guide—but I'm thinking more of personality traits.

I've been writing seriously for about eight years now. I've finished two mysteries (the first being totally useless) and I'm working on two others. So far, I've received a large number of rejections and not a single agent has jumped at the opportunity to sign me up. No surprise there, but it does highlight a special writer need: perseverance.

The dictionary defines perseverance as "steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success."

Sounds about right. Writing is hard work and it takes time, both to complete the writing (and never ending editing) and to find an editor or publisher. Louis L'Amour received 200 rejections before a publisher took a chance on him. It took J.R.R. Tolkien 12 years to write Lord of the Rings. And just remember how long it took JK Rowlings to get published.

Sure it would be nice to be an overnight wonder, a first-time-out-of-the-box NY Times bestseller, but that isn't reality for most of us.

So here's my daily mantra: Don't let the bastards get you down. 

Now get back to your keyboard!