Thursday, August 19, 2010

Honing and Keeping On and Doing it Always

Mes amies, did you know I’m a genius? Yes, by age 4 -- no, it was age 3-- I was writing short stories and had started working on my first novel, and by age 5 getting published in most major literary magazines. When English class came, I taught the teacher. Oh-ho, yeah. When I was 13, I queried one agent and got her, and then four days later, a 7-figure publishing deal. When I was 14, my first novel was published, but I didn’t become a bestseller until the old age of 17 (horrors, I know, I’m hideously embarrassed about that). Basically, I've done everything sooner than you have, with more cleverness, and it took me no time at all while you’ve been toiling for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS and you still can’t get your %&$#@ing query right.

Actually, none of the above is true. And we congratulate those talented youngsters who are setting the world aflame -- and those incredibly clever people who twist words in such a way that you CRY when you read them because they’ve moved you so. Really. Those people are awesome and amazing and will change everything.

But most of us are not them. And you mustn't feel bad when they wave to you from the fast lane, while you’re still honing and honing and honing and your fingers are bleeding because of all that honing. Just keep on honing because you’re good too, just in a different way.

Look at it this way. You can either look at the luminaries from far, far away, from the basement where you sit, having not tried and having instead given up. Or you can join them on your own terms according to your utter normalcy.

You choose.

I know what I chose.

10 comments:

Tina Lynn said...

yeah...I'm okay with honing.

Linda G. said...

I'm an unapologetic honer myself. :)

Indigo said...

Definitely on my own terms. I would rather hone my skill and break out a book worthy of me, than send something passable, but utterly cockery out into the world and sporting my name.

Anyone can write, only so many, may do so well and with heart. Loved this post! (Hugs)Indigo

Jessica Lemmon said...

I was pretty sure I was in the aforementioned awesomely talented category. But, alas, I stand corrected... I'm one of the honers after all. But, I'm okay with that. ;)

Jm Diaz said...

yougot published FOUR days later?? Pfft... My book was out 4 hours after the agent saw it!

Thank you mon cheri... that was the kinda post I needed.

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Aww, sweet. Maybe we should look into marketing writer band-aids for all our bloodily honed fingers?

Anne R. Allen said...

Hey, who wants to peak at 17 and have life go downhill from there? Look at all those child stars who end up hopeless messes by age 30. I'd rather have something to look forward to! Like maybe having a career by the time I'm 70...

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Amen from the hallelujah choir. :) We can't compare ourselves to those exceptional cases. Every writers' conference I go to, I talk to published authors and hear the same thing--persistence is the name of the game. MOST people give up, it's the ones who kept at it that get published.

demery bader-saye said...

Sierra - I really needed to hear this today (well, everyday :)). Been staring at an empty inbox - not even thinking I'll get a yes - but now anxious even to hear a "no" from an agent - rather than have all of that hard work simply ignored. And - seeing on sitemeter that my blog is still primarily read by my friends. But what you say is so right! And life is good and I'm blessed to have friends. And I'd be bored and sad to be sitting home not even trying. So I'm going to bookmark this page and come back to it as needed.

THANK YOU!

Sierra Godfrey said...

Glad you all feel the same way. Hugs all around :)

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