I was listening to Mur Lafferty’s “I Should Be Writing” podcast this morning. Specifically episode 171.
I love Mur’s podcast because she is so honest about her own writing journey and because a lot of things she talks about are things I’m going through too. In this particular episode she talked about two things that really resonated with me.
The first was the sense of entitlement some people seem to have, specifically entitlement about getting published. There were times where I’ve felt that sense of jealousy towards people who “seem” to have hit the jackpot and been published the first time out. Usually what happens is I do additional research and discover that these people have years and YEARS of writing prior to the publication that you never hear about.
I myself will be a debut author in the next year or so. Chances are someone out there feel the same way toward me. I know I’ve been writing a long time and have written several as yet unpublished books. It will just seem like I hit the jackpot.
Her other comment that really resounded with me concerned working on multiple projects.
She talked about focusing on a single project to make it perfect versus working on multiple things and wondering if the quality is somewhat less. She is one of those people who works on several things at once. I’ve tried both sides and lately have been a multiple projects guy.
Has my work been inferior doing it that way? I’m not sure. I know I’ve wondered that very thing on several occassions. I do know that everything I write can be improved whether it was done in a focused way or as one of several projects. I think that’s natural for every writer.
Good editing and revision can and will improve any story. Some stories are so bad (yes, I’ve written one or two that qualify) that they need to be scrapped/hidden/burned or simply drawered. They can be made better but never good enough to see the light of day.
Both points made me look at my own writing ambitions. I had to be very honest with myself too. Do I really believe I can make it? Will I one day be a professional writer? To both questions I now know I can say “Yes”. I believe in what I do and I love writing. Those two things will push me past some of my fellow writers who found the road to tough to travel.
Hopefully, I will provide a good example to them so they pick up the pen once again. Thanks Mur for your comments. You have been an inspiration to me and my resolve has been strengthened even further.