Monday, August 10, 2009

All It Takes

I have a friend who dabbles in writing. She has pondered plots and researched the industry; she has studied others' writing and desires to pen something amazing, maybe a novel. I've seen some of her stuff, and I believe she has untapped talent.

Still, she's considered what it takes, beyond vision and creativity.

Markets are often overwhelming, and competition can be devastating. Publication is rare, given the odds, every little step. All this means determination and discipline are necessary. Time and patience are required. And required some more. Many know the list continues.

She recently decided she's not ready to commit. Not yet, anyway, and I admire her respectful withdrawal from the race.

I also feel buoyed by it. I feel encouraged, in fact, because I realize how deep-rooted my want is. I realize that I want success, no matter the commitment. And I'm willing.

I commit.

Do you?

40 comments:

Jessica said...

Yep. I do. It's tough, it's laborious, but I'm in it for good. :-)

Kristen Painter said...

I kind of have to now. lol

JKB said...

I'm right there with ya.

MeganRebekah said...

I honestly don't think I could leave, even if I wanted to. It's in my blood now.
So I commit!

Rebecca Nazar said...

It's a slog, but I'm in it for "the long haul" as they say.

Lori said...

I am reassessing every other day. I have to keep writing, but publishing... that's some other story.

Melanie Avila said...

I do, but I'm finally realizing what everyone means when they say it's a slow process. Oy.

Cindy said...

Yes! One thing I've never wavered on is how much I want to be a writer. The struggles aside, I couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Stephanie Faris said...

I commit but you know, for me it's not about getting published. It's about writing every day of my life and enjoying it. But I know too many vaguely semi-talented people who hve gotten published to believe otherwise.

quixotic said...

I have my days where I feel this is all worthless. I take a step back and breathe. Then my innter writer urges me back into uncertain waters of publishing. At the end of the day. I love writing and that's what matters. I hope for publication, but it's the writing I love.

Glynis said...

I am in for the long haul, I am at a self-doubt stage(see my author blog), but I cannot stop writing. I live for the quiet, moments my pen, computer and I share.

Tess said...

Oh, yes. I commit. But there is a time and place for all things and I can recall a time w/ little babes in arms when I could only commit to 'dream' of writing. I don't regret waiting, it has been the right journey for me.

good thoughts :)

JLC said...

I'm committed to enjoying the writing experience. It's fun! Someday I may send something to a publisher or agent, but I am willing to wait until the piece speaks to me and says.. "yes.. I am ready to fly."

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh yes I am. I've invested and learned too much to stop now. It might take years but that's ok. I am so glad to hear you feel like this!!:)

Analisa said...

When I am not writing something I am missing,something. I get uncomfortable. My mind fills with plot ideas and characters start speaking in my head. I jot them down on church programs and backs of envelopes. Yet I don't feel committed everyday but know that I am.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I'm committed to write even if it ends up only being to satisfy my writing addiction. Anything like winning contests, awards and the publication of a book are icing on the writing cake. Even when I tried to stop writing for a short sabbatical, I found myself writing notes for story ideas. There's no stopping us writers!!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I am committed to God and the gift He's given me, and the call inside my heart to write His answer. I am also commmitted to publishing my work, whether it's traditional or otherwise.

Lazy Writer said...

Yes! I'm committed! It's really not a choice for me. Writing is just something I have to do. So I'd have to say, I'll never give up! :)

Jody Hedlund said...

That's awesome that she could see that and decide not to pursue writing right now. More often than not, when I tell people I'm a writer, they don't realize just how much work and effort it requires, and they say something like "I'm planning to write a book too" or "I've got all kinds of great ideas, if only I had more time."

Jill Kemerer said...

Yes. Absolutely. If I have to work a temp job, write on tree bark, and study every writing craft book ever written, I will get published.

Natasha Fondren said...

It's good to not know, sometimes. I woulda never started writing, had I known how difficult it was out there. Luckily, none of it ever felt difficult, because I took it one step at a time and was four years into it before I learned anything the industry.

I thank God for that every day! And admire those who start out with that knowledge all the more!

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. Powerful post. Yes, I'm committed. :-)

Karen said...

I have my days when I wonder, but I always come back to writing. The hardest thing for me is to write even if I don't feel like it. So I guess that makes me committed, huh?

Amy said...

I'm committed because I'd be so sad if I didn't write. I respect your friend's self awareness, though, and understand her reticence to commit to this insanity! ;o)

Janet said...

I'm committed, yes, unless something bigger and better comes along. But I'm not expecting that, so I'll keep slogging away.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

Yes! This journey is so much harder than I expected, but I know what God has put in my heart. Now, I'm learning how to get it on the page in such a way that others sit up and take notice.

Blessings,
Susan :)

ralfast said...

I'm committed although at times I think I should be committed.

Kathy said...

I believe in being versatile. When the greeting card market was drying up, I turned to writing newspaper and magazine articles.

If I'm not successful at one genre, I'll try another.

Helen Ginger said...

You do have to commit, that's true. It can be so time consuming, frustrating, and full of rejection that you can give up, otherwise.

Perhaps your friend could commit to writing for herself just to put her thoughts on paper. Then she'd have these pieces if she ever decided to take it back up.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Janna Qualman said...

Whew! Was gone for a couple days, and it looks like I have some catching up to do. Thanks for all the comments!

Jessica - For the long haul, you and I.

Kristen - Somehow I think you don't mind being stuck. ;)

JKB - I have to say congrats again!

MeganRebekah - Sometimes a break is needed, but I could never leave for good, either.

Becca - Oh, yes! That phrase is a keeper.

Lori - There are some who write for the sake of writing, without publication a goal, and there's nothing wrong with that. *hug*

Melanie - Yes: Oy. ;)

Cindy - Me, either. When it comes to the thing that is only mine, to sustain me through the other statuses of life, writing is it.

Janna Qualman said...

Stephanie - I know just what you mean.

quixotic - "But it's the writing I love." Yes!

Glynis - Welcome! :) I live for those moments, too.

Tess - Your comment speaks to me, since I put so much effort into balancing my family with my writing.

JLC - I do believe that's a smart way to do it. :)

Terri - Invested, yes. It's a good word to use, and so true.

Analisa - I think we can be committed every day without producing every day. You know what I mean? (Though, as I think about it, I consider many things "producing." Blogging, journaling, taking notes, communicating with others. It all counts.)

Donna - There's no stopping us!

Janna Qualman said...

Jen - That's a really good way of looking at it. I, too, feel it's a gift, and I don't want to not use it and disappoint Him.

Lazy Writer - For me it's a conscious choice, because I've come to know there is no other way. ;)

Jody - I encounter that a lot, too, and wish it were different.

Jill - *high fives*

Natasha - I think there's some brilliance there. It's worked that way a bit for me, too.

Melissa - Thanks! And I'm glad you are. :)

Karen - You said it!

Amy - I know, right? :D

Janet - I think among writers you'd have a hard time finding something bigger and better. ;)

Janna Qualman said...

Susan - I understand completely. And best to you!

Rafael - I was waiting for that joke!

Kathy - I guess that's a perk, isn't it? I never really though about it, but there are so many arenas within the written world, we should never have to shove off entirely.

Helen - The good news is, my friend isn't giving up, she's just pushing it aside while things more important take her time and energies. :)

Kara said...

I'm just in it for the joy of writing. I can't seem to kick the habit! And I hope someday I'll be devoted enough to do all the things I need to do to get myself published...but for now I just write and see where it takes me:)

Nadine said...

I've definitely had moments where I feel I should just give up, but right now, I'm excited again. I hope this feeling remains as I really do want to make it!

Janna Qualman said...

Kara - As individuals, I think it's best we do what we think right. And there's nothing wrong with your path. :)

Nadine - Ugh, the self-doubt. It rears its ugly head far too often, eh? Hang on to that excitement!

Deb Shucka said...

Yes. From the center of my being. Yes.

Janna Qualman said...

Deb - Go you!

LA said...

I don't commit. I half commit. :( I let other things in my life take precedence and make excuse for not writing. And the funniest thing about that is that I love to write. When I sit down and get into one of my tales, I have a sense of contentment that I can find in no other activity or creative project. Sadly, I think I have to continue to half commit, as I'll be starting my masters degree in less than two weeks and I doubt that with all the work that'll entail that I'll have time to commit a solid amount of time to writing.

Janna Qualman said...

LA - Well, it's there, you have to believe in yourself. Just know that other things will take precedence with you right now, and you can always pick it up later. Many writers don't find their groove (and reach publication) until late in life, anyway. Good luck with your Master's program!