Writers write. That’s it. Simple.
Motivation to write is at an all-time high. More people write now than in any other era. Today, I want to address the people who are writing for publication. What motivates you? What brings you to your work in progress every day? Do you write every day?
As a writer, and yes, I call myself one, I’ve noticed that many writers need motivation. There’s a trend: writers who don’t need motivation are published authors. They’re the ones who have books on the shelves in your local bookstore. They’re the ones who write every day.
I’m not saying writers with less discipline won’t get published; it’s just that they need more of a shove to get their thoughts on paper, and I’m looking to find out why that is.
Literature is an occupation where you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.
In his book, Fire in Fiction, Donald Maass, a literary agent in New York, pointed out that there are two kinds of writers: Status Seekers and Story Tellers.
Are you a status seeker? Do you want to tell everyone you’re a writer? Even if the piece you’ve written isn’t at its best, do you try and try again to get it published? When industry professionals explain why it isn’t ready, do you counter their claims with attitude? After that’s all done, did you go and self-publish? How many sold? To whom? Family and friends?
My point isn’t to berate. I want to know, are you a writer, or do you call yourself one?
For storytellers, the game is different. I consider myself a storyteller. I am currently writing my fourth novel. I’ve written fifty short stories. I’ve been published in two different newspapers, winning several contests. Recently, two different anthologies have accepted three short stories, which will be published early next year.
The reason for this is that I tell stories. I’ve got too many floating around, yearning for the empty page. I started writing the novel I queried in 2003. I’ve done four revisions with a professional freelance editor out of New York with countless drafts to ensure it’s just right.
Around 2006, in my seventh draft, I decided to hit the delete button and re-write the entire novel in my current voice. I felt each scene would be better served to write it fresh instead of constantly trying to tweak my two-year-old writing.
That’s over seven years of working on the same manuscript. The average writer gets their first deal after eleven years. I still have a way to go as I want my story told properly.
Are you a storyteller? Do you write because you love it? Are you passionate about it? If you are, then it’s not work. Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Tell me your story. How long have you been at it?
What are your successes?
What are your goals?
Are you a storyteller?
Are you a writer?
You can be both. Just don’t be status seekers.
We get so accustomed to disguising ourselves to others that, in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.