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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's your career...

You are responsible for the success of your writing career. 
And you are responsible for it 100% of the time.
Christina Katz

The first time I read this, it hit hard.   My lack of publishing success was my fault.  I wasn't studying my craft like I should have been.  I wasn't writing like I should have been and I definitely wasn't sending out like I should have been.

It was easier to sit and complain about how hard it was to break in to the "good" markets, how difficult it was to figure out what publishers wanted and that the editors just didn't "get" what I was writing.

After sulking a bit, I realized I could change my lack of success.  I could steer my writing career in a new, better direction.

Sure, there are some things I can't control such as whether an agent dislikes my work. But I can control how many agents get the chance to see it.  I can do the research needed to make sure I'm targeting agents who do like things similar to mine.  I control how polished my work is when I send it to that agent, again giving it the best chance of acceptance.

I can't control whether an editor will want my piece for their magazine.  But again, I can control the research needed to ensure I target the places with the best chance of acceptance.

I can't control rejection letters but I can control how I react to them.

So, to remind myself that I'm in charge, I tweaked the quote and made it mine. Then, played with it a bit so it looks something like a little tree. (see below) I printed it out, posted it on my bulletin board.  I even made a few bookmarks out of it.  I've taken responsibility for my writing career. 

Today, I want to encourage each of you to take control of your writing career.  Get rid of whatever things are holding you back.  Sure, it's work but well worth it.


7 comments:

V.R. Leavitt said...

Excellent post! I recently had a similar epiphany and even though it means more work, it's very freeing in a way.

Cheryl said...

Here, here! That's why I say, "You have the power to make your dreams come true. Use it!"

We really are the owners of our destinies.

One of the things that seems to stand in the way for a lot of people is time. That's why in helping coordinate this year's WriteAngles Conference, I am participating in a panel on making the time and space to write.

We need to see what the obstacles are that stand in our way and find ways to remove them.

Excellent post, Jean!

Cheryl

Nicole said...

Love it :)

Jaleta Clegg said...

My biggest problem is feeling that if I'm not doing something to promote my work, I'm not doing enough. But 24 hours a day? Too much. I also need to learn to set boundaries so that when I am writing, I am writing. When I am marketing, I am marketing. When I am being mom, I am being mom. It's tough, but it makes me much more effective than trying to do it all, right now, all at once.

kathy stemke said...

Ouch!! How true!!

chris weigand said...

In the last six months I have seen proof of that statement. I have become more dedicated to my work, doing the butt in seat, and yesterday I sent out two queries, something that I have managed to procrastinate for years (not this particular project). A learning process, but definately a great ride once you catch on.

Jean said...

Good for each of you for taking control of your career. Yes, it's work but so worth it.

So far this year, I've sold two shorts, a novel (for after I finish the one I'm working on now) and have 4 other shorts out.

One of my goals this year is to always have at least three things out so y'all will be seeing a lot of market posts as I search for them myself.