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Monday, May 20, 2013

So you want to be an author.. Now what?

Perhaps you've been dreaming of becoming a published author, but you haven't made a plan. All you have to this point, is a long list of reasons why you can't reach your goal. What's keeping you from reaching the finish line? Are any of these things on your list?
  1. I don't know how to write: Everyone feels this way at some point so how do you fix it? You might take a course on writing. Be sure you learn from experts. I really enjoyed learning from the instructors at The Institute of Children's Literature. I had deadlines, but I could make a schedule to write for a certain amount of time each day. If something unforeseen occurred, I could usually spend extra time on my assignment the next day. My personal opinion is that most authors need to start with some degree of natural ability, but you still need to polish your skills. 
  2. I can't afford to go to school: I couldn't afford the entire tuition, either, but I enrolled in a payment plan. It was much more manageable this way. If you'd rather not do that, you can designate a certain amount of your budget to the enrollment fee. Remember, if you sincerely want to become an author, you will find a way. When you sacrifice, the victory is that much more special.
  3. I don't have the talent:  I believe that most schools send an easy aptitude test to screen the students. I remember being totally petrified when I started the first course, but I only allowed myself to peek at one assignment at a time so I wouldn't be completely overwhelmed. I'm a firm believer that we all are capable of much more than we imagine. The main thing is to take the first step. It'll get easier as you go along. If you have good teachers, they will encourage you along the way. They will mention both your strong areas and those that need improvement. If they hadn't recognized the better areas, I'd have been supporting big bonuses for the Kleenex execs. 
  4. I"m afraid of failure:  I think this is the biggest obstacle we all face. It's the reason we convince ourselves not to try new things. I'm really a guilty party with this one, but I'm working on overcoming it. Remember that failure is a great teacher. When I learned to ride horses, sometimes I fell off multiple times a day. Usually, it was because I didn't keep my heels down and tipped forward, which caused me to fall. Eventually, my balance got better and my legs became stronger. What helped me to persevere? Keeping focused on my goal, learning to ride. If your goal is to become a published author, concentrate on that and remember that quitting is the only thing that definitely leads to failure. Now we've investigated some major hurdles that stand in the way of your success. You've seen that there are remedies. You can overcome any barrier if you focus on your goal. Perseverance is the key to success. You can see that the excuses standing in your path can be easily defeated. Be determined to reach your goal and you'll amaze yourself at your abilities.
     
     

14 comments:

  1. When I was in college (studying writing in a formal school setting like you describe) I had a teacher who told me, many many times, that the only way to write well was to allow yourself to write shitty. He said that the more you produced the more likely you were to find the diamond in the rough- because there's a rough to look through.

    It's taken me substantially more years than I could have ever imagined to really understand what he meant by this- I certainly didn't get it then. Now it is only through consistent, continuous plugging away at the keyboard that I start to find a voice underneath all the rubbish, that I start to feel as though there might be somewhere to go with all this.

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  2. Good job, Beverly. You persevered and now you're seeing the good results. I'm sure your teacher would be proud of all you've accomplished.

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  3. excuses, excuses!
    kick them out! easy to say, harder to do. cant just go buy confidence!
    but if a person really wants something, she will find a way!
    great inspiration =)

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  4. It's true, Tara, excuses are hard to combat. But the only way you can build confidence is by writing. As with other things, you improve as you get more experience. I totally agree that when a person wants something passionately, he/ she will find a path to success.

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  5. I like this blog post Deanie. At one point I wanted to just forget about everything but something in me jogged and I've decided to persevere and I'm starting to reap the rewards slowly. I know I've got a lot to learn in this business of writing but I won't give up. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

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  6. Good job, Bertha! The only time we fail is when we give up on our dreams. Your persistence will be rewarded for sure. I'm proud of you for your hard work.

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  7. I think it is important to persevere, learn from our mistakes and never give up on our dreams. Nice post, Deanie.

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  8. Thank you so much, Suzanne. I've always thought persistence was the key to success. We should all learn from our mistakes and make our work more remarkable.
    I hope you have a lovely weekend full of memorable anniversary celebrations.

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  9. Hi there. I just wanted to stop by and thank you for your comment during the recent Blitz of my blog. I had a great time and really appreciate your taking the time to drop by. Have a great weekend!

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  10. Hi Dana, so nice to see that you stopped by to visit my blog. I"m sure you had all sorts of comments during the blitz. It must have been fun. Glad to meet you and I hope you visit again.

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  11. Good post. Those points can just be excuses for not getting started. As I always say, you just have to do it!

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  12. Thank you, Sherry. We agree on that. The hardest thing is starting, but once you get going it's usually not has hard as you thought it would be.

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  13. I enjoyed reading this post, Deanie.
    Valid points and good advice. Even for those who cannot afford a class, there are writing groups that one can join and learn weaknesses and strengths from. I think you are right on the biggest obstacle, fear. I still have my freak out moments but as you said, if we want something bad enough, we have to persevere ;)

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  14. Thank you for stopping by to read my blog and leave a comment, Katherine. I love hearing from you and the others who have chosen to comment. I think it's a good thing for all of us to remember that we can overcome our fears, and most anything else if we want something passionately. You shouldn't be afraid, Katherine. You have talent and you're using it so the time will come to celebrate.

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