There’s all this hubbub floating around out there lately, conflicting theories of all the DOs and DON’Ts of what it takes to be or become a successful author.
Some time ago, I saw some Perpetual Writing Advice Giver actually tweet that if you’re a writer promoting your work and you don’t have this many (double digit) thousand followers on Twitter, you’re simply not trying hard enough. To add insult to offense, said party didn’t even have a half of that “strongly suggested” following.
(Excerpt from Tanya Moore’s post on A Writer’s Path . Read more here.)
The celebration of youth is everywhere, not just in beauty magazines. Literary organizations also champion the hip and emerging, by recognizing the progress of rising stars under 40, under 35. This is a great way to keep talent on readers’ radars, but it is, necessarily, limited.
There are plenty of reasons why a writer might break out after 35. Writing a book is difficult and time-consuming. For most, it requires a good deal of attention, something not everyone can afford. Some writers waited until after they had raised children to commit to their craft; others emerged from different, more traditionally practical career paths.Excerpt from Maddie Crum’s article in the Huffington Post. Read more.
Joe: Good afternoon Calliope.
Calliope: Good afternoon, Joe. I wondered when i would hear from you.
Joe: I haven’t forgotten about you. I have just been extremely busy with my writing and keeping up with the changing world, especially in our country.
Calliope: Tell me about your writing.
Joe: I finished writing From Rage and Violence to Peace and Harmony. I have two readers reviewing it for content and my editor/proofreader is waiting in the wings. The book went well but took more research than I thought it would.
Calliope: Congratulations. I will be waiting to see it. Are you just waiting for the editorial reviews and proofing?
Joe: No. I have gone on to start working on my next book. The working title is Violence in America. This is coming along well and about half finished as we speak. I have also been keeping up with articles for Sliding Otter News. I have published a couple excerpts from my violence and peace book as articles.
Calliope: I am glad you are keeping busy. What’s with the shuttle cockpit photo?
Joe: I feel I am on a trip to an alternate universe since the campaigns and recent election. I feel like I have lost my bearings and am struggling to remain upright. I guess the older you get, the harder it is to adapt to change. I keep reminding me that it is only change and not disaster. But it is hard for me to be reassured.
Calliope: Strap yourself in and hang on for the ride!
At school I found essays difficult: presentation was my problem. As I wrote I’d make mistakes. I was always writing the wrong word, which meant I would have to cross the wrong word out and write a new one above. My mistakes were so frequent my pages were blizzards of corrections. I would also make blots. Lots of them. That was the problem with writing with a fountain pen as children did in those days. They splattered and spluttered no matter how careful you were.
My messy pages upset me. Why couldn’t I produce page after page of clean, fair copy like the other boys and girls amongst whom I sat in classrooms that smelt of chalk dust and wax floor polish? These paragons seemed to have no difficulty covering page after page with their lovely flowing handwriting, often rendered in turquoise or emerald or other exotic colours and always unblemished by blots and emendations. But I couldn’t. It just wasn’t fair.
(Excerpt from Carlo Gabler’s article in Irish Times)
Article by Kate Colby
Have you ever felt super-motivated to write, learn a new recipe, clean out your closet, etc. at the most inconvenient time, only to completely lose all motivation when you finally have a free moment?
Yeah, me too. So, how do you reclaim that burst of inspiration when you have free time? And better yet, how do you hang onto motivation and avoid losing it altogether?
Well, there’s no magic formula (obviously), but here are a few tricks you can try. (Read more)
Joe: Good afternoon Calliope.
Calliope: Good afternoon Joe. I haven’t heard from you in a while.
Joe: I admit it. I have been very busy with summer socializing and also with my book in progress on violence and peace. It is not an easy book and gets more complicated with the events of each week. News articles and broadcasts seem to emphasize the sensationalism of the events but offer little understanding of why they happen or what to do about them. I wish I had my book ready now, but I am working on patience.
Calliope: I’m glad you are still working on your book. How is it going?
Joe: I must admit I have become easily bogged down. In the past I was able to writ on the computer without my mind wandering to other sites. But not lately.
Calliope: What are you going to do about it?
Joe: I got to thinking about my past books. I recalled my friend Gerry’s comment that my book about my seminary and monastery years, Young Man of the Cloth, was my best book. I got to thinking about why and what was different about that book.
Calliope: What did you discover?
Joe: I thought about it and recalled that this was the only book I wrote entirely in longhand. The rest were all done on the computer. I decided to try writing the next section of my current book longhand. Lo and behold, the writing appeared more coherent and personally expressive than what I had previously written. I decided to continue writing longhand.
Calliope: Quite a discovery! I hope your new approach continues to enhance your writing.
Joe: I think it will but time will tell. Time to get back to work. Talk with you later.
Photo credit- Getty Images
I have always wanted to write. Words seduce me. Reading tumbles me quickly into worlds I have no balance for. Books became my protection as I grew up as a brown girl in “do or die” Bed Stuy Brooklyn during the 1980s to immigrant Afro-Latino parents from Central America.
Excerpt from Natasha Gordon Chipembere’s article in Essence– read more.