Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Opportunity

"You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky

Opportunity and Carpe Diem have so much in common.

I'm writing this post from the angle of an author's life. If you are knee-deep into writing and you're willing to go until you're up to your eyeballs, this post is for you.

First, if you don't already know it, being a writer does not follow logic. You're likely to spend years at it an not once make enough money to make your house payment and feed your kids for more than a few months out of the year. Writing is not a financially lucrative career.


Yes, there are the superstar exceptions. Could that be you someday? Anything's possible.

But fame and fortune isn't what drives you to write. That's the secret normal-minded people don't often understand. You write because you love it. In the face of failure, you write. When your life is wonderful, you write. You write because it's part of who you are.

But we would all love to see our words in the hands of others, and that's where today's topic applies.

You can't sit and type on your computer at home and never reach out to the book industry and still expect your publishing dreams to come true.

This is where you have to look at the Carpe Diem chart. We'll pretend you have your basic survival needs met. Do you have the motivation?

If you want to get published, you have motivation.

We jump right into the fear pool so fast we don't notice how cold the water is until it's clear over our heads. You submit your manuscript, or you query agents. You were motivated enough to write the query letter and synopsis, now you have to test it out there in the big brutal world.

Then you face the battery of rejections.

But, in writing, we go through the steps so fast that you may not even realize that you made it to the Carpe Diem level until you're there. You sent your query- you ceased the day.

Don't worry, you'll get a chance to go through this cycle all over again very soon.

Will you learn anything? Absolutely.

Will you be better because of it? I hate to admit it, but yes, rejection makes you stronger.

But most importantly, will you make more opportunities? Opportunity isn't a field full of wild flowers waiting to be picked, it's an empty field where you plant the seeds.


Docena said...

It was good to see you at the SCBWI conference. You're right, it is good to stay in touch and see familiar faces.

Laura said...

Thanks for stopping by Docena!

C R Ward said...

This is a very inspirational post! I'm going to print it out to stick on the wall above my computer. :-)