Owning Your Craft

There’s all this hubbub floating around out there lately, conflicting theories of all the DOs and DON’Ts of what it takes to be or become a successful author.

Some time ago, I saw some Perpetual Writing Advice Giver actually tweet that if you’re a writer promoting your work and you don’t have this many (double digit) thousand followers on Twitter, you’re simply not trying hard enough. To add insult to offense, said party didn’t even have a half of that “strongly suggested” following.

This kind of attitude is merely evident of a growing trend. There seems to be no short supply of soothsayers proclaiming that you should write, write, write till you’ve either churned out some semblance of a book or your fingers fall off. If that story seems to be taking its sweet time congealing, then by god–you’d better choke that baby out or burnout trying. You really also ought to spend endless hours whoring it out like crazy, lest you get left behind in the dust of this supposed digital gold rush.

Of course, it’s true that productivity and ingenuity both fuel success. A web presence is certainly essential to a writer, in this day and age. To be quite honest, there’s nothing fundamentally indefensible about writing merely for the sake of earning a few dollars. The economy being what it is–these days, we’re all doing what we can. I guess.

Who wants to hear that Writing isn’t really a craft that can be forced, rushed or faked? That a good story happens in its own time?

Whether that time happens to be one day or a thousand days will vary depending on the writer and the particular story. Make no mistake, I don’t suggest that a writer be lackadaisical in his or her efforts.

Just remember one thing. Writers are always working and growing, whether we’re scribbling or not. Whether we’re aware of it, or not.

So maybe, don’t stress out over it so much, lest you sell both yourself and your craft short. I know that the world can be a harsh environment for a fertile mind but you can spare a moment to pause, take a step back and look. Look at where you started and where you are now. Be proud of the distance you’ve traveled and how much you’ve accomplished, so far.

Just think, there’s a lot more where that came from.

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