Posted by: Kathleen Mix | June 18, 2013

Never Give Up

I’m lucky to be a writer and able to spend my days working at something I love. As a degreed engineer, I’ve had other careers. But although writing can be difficult, draining, and discouraging, I have no desire to go back to a nine-to-five, corporate job.
Transitioning into a writing career was far from easy. I wrote for several years before getting my work published, and in the beginning, had dozens of questions. But now, with six books in print, I finally know a few of the answers.
While teaching workshops, I often meet aspiring authors who ask what they should write about. My suggestions are based on my time attending the school of hard-knocks. I tell them to write about life and the issues and people they care about. To imagine solutions to the personal and political problems they’d like to solve. To pour out the words and ideas they need to have heard. Writing a book will consumes weeks or months of the author’s life. To stay engaged, they need to be excited about their topic. Not every idea is good fodder for fiction, but if a concept or character excites them, they should sit down and stretch their imagination. The best books result when a seed idea is nourished and given room to grow into a viable plot.
When students in my workshops ask how to get published, I can offer other words of advice. Be stubborn. Don’t give up. Write every day. Don’t expect overnight success.
Writing doesn’t require a degree or a license; would-be authors don’t have to pass a physical test. They need a command of language, an understanding of grammar, and a familiarity with story structure. But the biggest requirement is passing a test of desire and determination. Successful writers have a strong will to write and enjoy the creative process. And most importantly, they never give up.
A wanna-be writer will never finish a book or get published if he or she quits writing at the first rejection or hint of adversity. But if a person has a deep desire and need to write and refuses to accept defeat, they have a good chance of someday seeing their words in print.
I’m not foolish enough to believe that, even after several years of writing, I have all the answers. But I am certain about one thing: by holding tight to the dream, a determined writer who is excited about their story can experience the great joy of working at something they love.

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Responses

  1. Very good advice. Especially the part about having to be excited about their work. It is hard to keep on going when you don’t have any passion about the world you create.

    Like


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