41-INCH BUST AND A LOT OF PERSEVERANCE WILL GET YOU MORE THAN A CUP OF COFFEE – A LOT MORE. JANE MANSFIELD
How typical to start the post with a joke. But it’s true. Not the bit about having big bazookas, those bits never really aided me in any way shape or form, apart from giving me back ache; the bit about perseverance.
Been writing as a profession for the past eight years, and a lot of the time has certainly felt like wading through mud.
I’ve done and experimented with everything, from exploring poetry, short stories, novellas and novels (which I’d been doing anyway), blogging to reporting and the very different and fast paced world of journalism. It’s taken a while to find where I am most comfortable. Perseverance pays dividends, coupled with passion.
If you’re half-hearted about writing, this will show. Give up at the first hurdle, and you’re bound to find your pen and notepad in five years time exactly where you’ve left them, gathering a rather thick residue of greying dust. If you’re half-hearted about promoting, which I must admit I usually am; there’s nothing worse than blowing your own trumpet; remember this NO ONE’S GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU unless you build up your contact book, push yourself and make contact with the people who can eventually steer you to where you want to be, they’ll never know you exist. Is this what you want?
Many of my posts hark back to the fact that I’m a single mother, I embrace this, it’s given me the time to get to know my children from a very young age, whilst having some time to form and write down my opinions/scribblings/ramblings and correlate them into something legible. Having to be independent gives you some sort of steely resilience to get on with it and do. Possibly because your time is short and you simply must make the best of every second of peace and quiet you get. It also gives you a depth which I don’t think I had before, perhaps a maturity.
Writing anything is tough. You need a start, a finish and an end, and lots of us get lost in the wayside of the in-between and where do I go next? My advice to anyone who is starting out in the field is keep a nice journal. Plan everything out from your storyline and plot, any characters you have, get to know them, from their favourite colours to how they’ll react when they’re arrested. Write notes about how your chapters will develop, and remember never finish a chapter without giving the reader something to cause them to turn the page and continue. If you are reporting, keep factual stories factual interesting and go ut into the world and look for your own! It’s honestly not that tough, the school yard/play ground/ play group always has a tale to tell.
Keep pushing, even in a poem there should be a story, and remember that you are in all intents and purposes aiming for a niche or specific audience, whatever you write.
When you have the material, don’t be afraid to ring people straight off Google, to go to publishing parties and mingle on your own. Take advice, grow from it, take the rejection letters, most of them will have some advice too, adapt, change, evolve. Stalk (is that the right word there?) similar poets, novelists on social network sites. Do not be afraid to ask them how they got their success, you’ll soon be able to find out if they are indeed successful or not by the tales they tell you.
Do not give up. No one conquered Everest by not trying.
If writing is not for you, you’ll have given up reading this half way through.
That’s why this post is called perseverance.
Get your pen ready. And go.