Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Secret I Didn't Share...

"Supernaturally" event
As soon as I posted my "Supernaturally" Tips For Aspiring Writers last month I realized that I hadn't shared the most important secret of all.

Tip 6: Writing is — and has to be it's own reward.

Surely that's obvious, you may say, but I'm not entirely sure it is. Most of us may know that no business case in the world would ever support writing as a viable business proposition, but I think we're also often dazzled by the fame, glory, and commercial success achieved by (for example) authors such as JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyer.

The endurance event...
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with the stuff of dreams that comprises stardust and a little bedazzlement, it will not sustain a writer through the long distance endurance event otherwise known as the writing life. Those with writing ambition need to think marathon as opposed to a stroll amongst scented (& thornless) rose gardens blooming beneath a blue moon.

No question, marathons can be rewarding — we only have to look at their worldwide popularity to know that they bring exhilaration as well as grueling moments. But there usually comes a moment somewhere in a marathon where the athlete hits the wire and keeping going (see Tip 5 from last month) definitely becomes "the way is hard."

Promised treats...
When I hit that spot with writing, I try all sorts of different ways to "keep going." One method I tried when pushing myself toward he finish line for Daughter Of Blood, The Wall of Night Book Three, was rewarding myself with treats (we will not say bribes!) for achieving milestones — only to find, when I did hit the milestone, that I wasn't interested in the promised treat.

The reward was always the writing and the achievement of the book itself.

And has to be, because with writing there is no guarantee that you will ever receive any other reward. If you do, then treat it as the bonus that it us.

A bonus moment.
That's not a gloom and doom prognosis though — I believe it's the key to what the ancient Greeks meant when they said "Know yourself" and also to an individual's personal writing "success", which (the only thing we can be sure of, I suspect) will be very different for each of us.

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