“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Are You A Writer?

How’s your writing going for you?

If it’s splendid tell me about it.

If you are frustrated tell me about that too.

If you are a published author. “Clap, clap, clap.”

If you have completed a manuscript or ten thousand unpublished ones, “Clap, clap, clap.”

Congratulations on writing whether you are published or not. You have a dream. You are going for it. And remember, you live life to experience it. You write about it to make sense of it.

That puts you ahead of the pack.

Our culture is so goal oriented that unless you win the gold you are discounted.

Not here. I know the road to success is incremental, and if we enjoy the process then we are winners already.

 I know this scenario too: You meet someone new and they ask the dreaded question: “What do you do?”

If you say, “I’m a writer,” then the next dreaded question is: “What have you published?”

Even #Anne Lamott, a best-selling author, dreaded that question.

“Tell me," said the person inquiring, “I read everything, what is the name of your book?’

“You’ve  probably never heard of it”

“No, tell me. I read everything.” She turns to her friend, “Don’t I read everything?”

“Yes, she reads everything.”

So reluctantly Anne tells her.

“Never heard of it,” says the inquirer and walks away.

Develop a touch skin.

Or feathers, remember how water rolls off a duck’s back?

Do that.

There is another aspect to sharing your dream before its time—I know we don’t want people to think we’re sitting around eating bon bons all the time—we’re creators. We were born to create. Sometimes, though, it is better to keep it to ourselves. Sharing before your dream is ripe is like pulling up your pumpkin seeds to see if they have sprouted.

If you write blogs and want to say so, Okay. They probably won't ask for its address, though. If you write books, your answer to their question might be, “It’s in the works,” or “It’s a work in process.” “Someone is considering it.”

“When will you know?”

“Oh, nine months or so—same as gestating a baby.”

Or you can use that opportunity to practice your selling skills so when your book comes out they will recognize it.

Do what feels right.

I’m thinking of a minister who as she walked down a beach in Hawaii someone asked her what she did. She didn’t want to go into it, so she said she dipped Hawaiian leaves in gold for jewelry.

If we say we are brain surgeons, we better come up with some astounding scientific terms.