I've been trying to figure out how to introduce this post, and an introduction is just not forthcoming, so since I'm short on time, let's just jump right in, shall we? Okey dokey.
A couple of people were less than enthused about my post "Why I Threw Your Writing in the Trash" because my tone was so blunt. In fact, it was apparently so up-front honest and blunt that my final wrap-up and ostensibly encouraging statements -
Buckle up and buckle down. Love [writing]. Let it empower you. Be passionate about it. But respect it. Respect those of us who know better than to dabble. Writing is a demanding art - just like all the others - so come to it with the respect it deserves! YOU'VE GOT THIS.- were overlooked. Maybe that's because we're used to being very gentle with ourselves - and with others. Which is not a bad thing. It's good to be gentle. But sometimes you have to be hard.
My post was actually nothing compared to how I treat myself. Which is maybe not the point, but LET ME JUST SAY, if you think I'm giving myself special treatment, OH HO NO GEE GOLLY NUH UH. I will tear myself to shreds and push myself far, far outside my comfort zone (what even is comfort zone anymore?) to better myself at my craft. Got that? Okay.
Yes, I, too, was a teenager - not that long ago, really - but I never read or wrote in just the same genre so I can't speak to that clique. However, I won't condone foolishness just because it is done in ignorance; I'd rather shake it up and shake it off.One of the best things that can happen to you as a writer is to be told, Okay. You want this? WORK FOR IT. Trust me! Was I foolish as a young writer? Absolutely! Was I dillydallying and playing around? No, I was not. I worked. I had a blind devotion to writing, and I just. kept. going. Whatever it was, I just kept writing, putting down stories, working with new plots, crafting new ways of dealing with characters, story-telling, everything. I loved writing and I wanted to do it always. I wanted it to be amazing. I wanted to do my best. Maybe you weren't like that - that's okay. But there comes a point when you need to be shook up and made to see - do you want this or not, and are you willing to work for it as it deserves?
No, it doesn't. All it means is that I had a slight head-start on knowing what I wanted to do, and I was too young at the time to be bombarded by the internet distracting me from my course. I had a blind commitment to what I was doing, and it's stood me in good stead.Well, doesn't that make you so special, Jenny.
From the scraps of my Gingerune manuscript, this particular quote stands out to me. Ginger's bull-dancing instructor, although he cares about Ginger, knows the hard truth: you have to get back up and keep going, harder than ever - and no one actually cares about your pain. Oh, your friends care. Your family cares. But no one else cares. If you want to make anything of yourself, of your writing, you are going to have to push yourself until your brain is raw sometimes, and just face up to the fact that no one cares how hard you are working, all they see are the results, good or bad."What are you doing? Get up! Do you think anyone cares about your pain? Get up!"
I am no one special, you guys. I have zero formal training, I am abominable at grammar, I rarely even read inside my main genre. I am no one special. But you know what I do have? I have a blind, serious, determined passion to write and to write well. That's all I ask - of you, of myself. Rude? No. Harsh? Maybe. But oh! my darlings, to be told to get up and get going, to be told you can do this! you've got this! is one of the best things that can happen to you as a writer. And I'm telling this to you.
Don't lie to yourself. Don't second-guess yourself. Don't fool around. You can be amazing.
title quote courtesy of schuyler