When To Say “I Made It”
By Author Donna Jean McDunn
Are you a writer? What do you write; fiction or non-fiction? Do you write for small children, middle grade/teenagers/young adults or adults? What genres do you write?
If you are a writer, then you know how much there is to learn before we can call ourselves writers and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever measure up. Sometimes, I wonder if I should have stopped writing a long time ago. Would it have made my life easier?
What does it really take to be a writer anyway?
My main goal as a writer has always been to be as good a writer as possible. But how do I accomplish that? How do I know for sure when I’ve arrived? There are so many rules in writing, how am I supposed to learn and remember them all when I have trouble remembering when to use “to” and “too” and what the heck is a dangling participle anyway? Am I fooling myself into believing I can turn this writing dream into reality? Will people want to read my stories and encourage others to read them? Is being a writer worth all the trouble and the heartache?
The truth is No one knows. (That answers all the questions, but the one about dangling participles; there are people out there who do know and can explain it. Now if I could only remember…)
Anyway, just ask anyone. Ask a dozen different writers at various stages in their writing careers and you’re going to get a dozen different answers. Why? Because the answer is different for everyone and the answers come at various stages in each individual’s career.
For an example, one writer may feel they’ve “made it” when they publish their first piece. Someone else my feel they’ve made it only after they’ve sold that one manuscript that had been rejected twenty-seven times, even though they’ve published several others. Some writers, even after publishing several best selling books, may still be waiting for that moment when they know they’ve “made it”.
I was told at a young age that I had a natural talent to write, but when I started writing seriously, I realized something. Natural talent, for most of us normal humans, isn’t enough.
There are several things writing experts agree on, one of them, and maybe the most important, is to continue to learn and grow as a writer. How do you do that?
Well, some say by taking writing courses either online or in a classroom setting. Continue to read the types of books you want to write. Step out of your comfort zone and stretch your imagination by reading and writing various genres. Short stories are a good way to begin. If they’re bad no one has to see them, but it will help you to grow as a writer.
Study the books you read and really enjoyed. How did the author of that book draw you, the reader, in? And of course continue to write. It doesn’t matter what you write, only that you do it and do it often, everyday if possible. Start a blog and read and comment on other peoples blogs. You’ll be glad you did.
I haven’t made it yet, but someday in the near future I hope to be able to say “I made it.”
An update: When I started this blog post, I was waiting to hear from Muse It Up Publishing about my novel manuscript I sent them. On Saturday August 11, 2012 I received an email from them. They want to publish my novel. I’m not ready to say “I made it” but now I really do have hope that I will.
As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter I will like, follow you, or Tweet so I can thank you.
It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.
I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of the nine winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at: (13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.
My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.
Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.
I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.
In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between the ages of 4-10, it might be worth it. It’s a very entertaining website.