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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I GIVE UP_IWSG post

Hibbs and I are giving up, setting out for new horizons.

"Never give up" is the kind of thing you often hear people say in the movies.

However, in real life, unlike the movies, 

when things don’t go to plan,

 no subtle background music kicks in to emphasize that in half an hour’s time you will bounce back and achieve your dreams.

Now, Writer's Digest harps on the "Never Give Up" mantra  – 

partly because their writers want you to buy another book called Never Give Up on Buying Books About Never Giving Up.  


"Never Give Up! Never Surrender!" was the rallying cry for the fun movie, Galaxy Quest ...

 as if a go-getter attitude alone could break down locked doors or blow up enemy spacecraft. 

However, in real life persevering against the odds can seem like a never-ending and not particularly fruitful process.

The agent, Jean Kitson, was once asked if writers should ever give up.

 She said this:

 "The absolute worst that can happen is that you’ll spend a chunk of your time doing something creative that you love, and for a lot of people it may never go any further than that.

 But if you don’t consider your writing a waste of time in itself, if it’s feeding a need in you, then it is not wasted." 

 So what have Hibbs and I given up?

The thought that I am ever going to be a successful, self-supporting author.

There are worse fates.  I know.  I have survived some of them: 

house fires, cancer, being forced out of my city by hurricane, surviving alone on the streets of Detroit and New Orleans.

There are, indeed, worse fates.

It has empowered me, freed me.  

I can enjoy my writing again.  I can rejoice in the successes of my writing friends instead of whining: 

"Why them? Why not me?"

Why them?  Why not them?  

We don't know how they got there, their background, their support system.  

Lightning hits where it hits.

So no one is buying my books.  Life happens.  

I am not in the major data flow of the internet and have no clue how to get there.

So Big Surprise -- 

I am the tiny mushroom growing unnoticed in the abandoned cellar of the Internet.

I am now free to grow better in my writing from chapter to chapter 

with the pressure of the worry of "If I will succeed" gone.

I am not going to succeed.  

Not all fights can be won.  But that doesn't mean you stop fighting them.

I focus on the wonder of "Creatio ex nihilio" --

to create something from nothing.  How cool is that?

If we are not careful, we start to believe that the Destination is Life.  No.

The Journey to that Destination is Life.  

High School was not Graduation.  

It was all those years, those friendships, those hurts ... that was High School.

And those years were over so soon -- never to come back again.

I reward myself now when I have completed a difficult chapter.  

I try to end my writing day on a high note of laughter or sense of satisfaction of a hard task done.

I focus on the next paragraph.  

I let the last chapter take care of itself.  I will get there eventually.

And you?  

You will get to the end of your novel eventually if you keep on.  

Worrying, stressing over if you will ever become a successful author will only rob you of the joy of creation.

Give Up the Burden of Worrying Over Success. 

Embrace the Moment, Savor the Thrill of Creation.

That tiny voice cheering you on from the cellar?  

That's small mushroom me.  Wave back.

The Journey is the Reward.
***
Oh, the best thing said of my writing?

Chrys Fey: 
"That gave me chills and tears in the eyes."

48 comments:

  1. We do it because we enjoy it. Any success that comes along is bonus. I'm all right with that.

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    1. Now,Alex, you know you have had your share of success! But doing what we enjoy is a good way of passing our free time, right?

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  2. But you are a success. You have published books. That's huge. Much more than many people can say. So, celebrate that. Be grateful for that. And trust that your readers will find you eventually.

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    1. I guess that is the way to look at it. :-) Thanks.

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  3. I love that you still enjoy writing. A reward in itself.

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  4. I think you are an exceptional writer, Roland! To me, you are a success. I agree with Liz, have faith that more of your readers will find you - if they are anything like me, they are deficient in map reading skills but they will find their way :)

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    1. Thanks, Nicola. All it takes is that one person in the right place in the internet to discover us. All we can do is have a substantial backlist of novels to take advantage of the interest. :-)

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  5. Never giving up is good, but so is facing the truth and learning to live with it. You are an amazing writer! Will you achieve the financial success you desire? Great question> I wish I had an answer for you. I wish I had an answer for me! Love Chrys's words! She's right and so are you!

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    1. Sometimes I think we are the worst judges of what the truth really is. I wish us both financial success with our novels. It is such a strange world: it could happen. :-)

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  6. Giving up on something that is not working is not the same as giving up on life. By admitting you've hit a dead end and moving on is far more beneficial than banging your head against the wall and not accomplishing anything. Moving on means beginning something that will work. Best of Success to you.

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    1. Best of success to you, too. Sometimes we just have to keep churning and hope we make butter! :-)

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  7. Yes, there are varying levels of success--however one wants to define 'success.'

    And that's one thing about writing and being an author--there are no guarantees of success. Hard word, study, perseverance, and a little luck. The luck part is something we as writers cannot control. We can only set ourselves up to potentially cross paths with it.

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    1. Definitely, set ourselves up to run with the ball if it ever comes our way. :-)

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  8. Hello! I am a mushroom too. Since self-publishing, my stomach has been in knots about marketing. I don't Twitter. I don't Facebook. I have just barely begun on Goodreads. There is no time for all this!

    Then I have to take a deep breath and let it go. Why am I making myself miserable? I want to write. I will do what I can for marketing, but it is not going to be huge.

    (But it is hard to let go of the dream of being a best-seller and/or seeing a book made into a film. It's such a lovely dream.)

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    1. If the Father wants it to happen, it will happen I guess. Yes, why make ourselves miserable? Enjoy the journey, right?

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  9. LOL. Aren't we all mushrooms? We're doing better than we think, it's just hard to see that sometimes.

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    1. If we are still hanging in there, we are doing better than many, aren't we?

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  10. It's always difficult when dreams don't fold out how we want them to, but you are a talented writer. Stay tuned for add'l success. :)

    BTW, you sure did have more than your share of tragic, character building things happen in your life. I like to believe it is part of the recipe of which you are created, the wonderful Roland we know and love.

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    1. Thanks for the support and kind words about my writing. Well, those things either built character or made me one!

      And especially thanks for those last words. :-)

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  11. I think it's important to write for the joy of writing and to also be realistic and acknowledge ones limitations. I like to stretch myself - but not at the expense of making myself miserable.

    Susan at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. Have fun with our dreams, right? Or what's the point? :-)

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  12. I may stop trying to get published again, but I'll never stop writing. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Self-publishing at least lets me get my work out there. :-)

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  13. I've always written for the joy of it. I find it's very therapeutic.

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    1. The ghost of Mark Twain just told me that for him writing was liking passing kidney stones -- he had to do it but it t'wern't no fun!

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  14. You are not alone in the cellar. I, for one, am a succulent morel, languishing in the moist peat. But what the heck, I've nothing to lose by throwing out more spores!

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  15. That's a very profound realization. Just because we don't become the next Stephen King doesn't mean we're failures.

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    1. Any more than Emily Dickinson was a failure as her genius was unappreciated in her lifetime.

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  16. The privilege of doing what we love is a true mark of success. When I'm having a down day, I remember those who don't have that opportunity, and I feel very fortunate indeed.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Self-publishing I am convinced has saved the sanity and sense of self-worth of many struggling authors.

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  17. How wonderful that Chrys is the one who said the nicest thing about your writing!

    We've all been in the mushroom stage, Roland, and I don't think you ever get out of it entirely. Something can always come along and make you feel small and unimportant.

    I love that you're refocusing on the sheer joy of writing. That alone can help you find success. But there's also marketing and branding things that can help expand your reach if that's something that's important to you.

    Just commenting on as many blogs as you do really helps. I remember coming here and being the only commenter, or one of two. Now I see 27 comments, and it's only the early afternoon. You are making great strides and don't even notice.

    *hugs*

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    1. I am mired in marketing and branding -- and it is a challenge. Today is a rare day for me concerning comments. Usually I get at the most 4 people commenting, usually only 2. I often feel as if I am singing to an empty house!

      May your own future hold only happy surprises for the rest of this year!

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  18. Hi Roland
    I'm not going to try to talk you into anything so no worries there. I did try to buy Hibbs and Amazon has it up for free which means I couldn't buy it since I'm not a member of their free reading service. They used to pay a person regardless of how many people read their book but not so now.

    Never give up is my mantra as well and I have yet to be discovered. Someday perhaps.
    Nancy

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    1. If you check Hibb's book page, you will see you can also buy his books for 99 cents and $1.99. That Kindle Unlimited ploy has cost me a lot of sales. :-(

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  19. Hi, Roland,

    Glad I stopped by again today... You may not have sold many books, but your writing has inspired thousands of readers....YES... Thousands.... Here at your blog. I remember when I first read your blog. I was floored by your writing and had hoped my writing would be equally as amazing some day.

    Now, many years later, your words still evoke beauty, passion, and honesty.... Always remember that.

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    1. Thanks for saying those nice things. I pray both our writing dreams finally come true. :-)

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  20. It sounds to me like you have just decided to focus your energy on the creation and not worry about whether or not you make any money off of it. That's a lovely place to be in. I hope it lets you live in the joy.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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    1. At least for the moment. :-) Thanks for visiting.

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  21. Oh Roland, you are a success as a writer! Sales and publishing are an entirely different animal, that's all. But you've made a wise decision to write only for the joy of it; I know because I've done the same. My days are better now.

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    1. Here's to better days and higher sales! :-)

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  22. Good thoughts. I agree you have to be writing because you love it, or (in my case) you can't NOT write. I've tried to give it up but just can't! Which is how I know I'm meant to be a writer. Whether I'm meant to be a "successful" writer (depending on how you define success) is another, perhaps unimportant, question.

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    1. For me to successful is to be true to yourself, and that is what you and I are doing, right? :-)

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  23. I constantly want to give up, but I can't. I only write because I can't now as well. Screw sales.

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    1. :-) Well, sales are certainly screwing with me.

      I write now to amuse myself as did Emily Dickinson.

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  24. You've got an encouraging attitude! I know I'll never support myself on writing alone too, but there's a certain sense of camaraderie when I see that statement from someone else, and they still want to cheer on those who are successful. Thank you.

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    1. Loni, seeing my friends make it gives me a smile. Success can happen in the financial area but seldom -- so I am cheered when the magic works for one of my struggling friends. But to be authentic is the true success, right

      (Waves at a fellow struggler!)

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