Owning Your Craft

For the past several years, there’s been all this hubbub floating around out there. The internet is saturated with self-labeled experts shilling a myriad of conflicting theories of all the DOs and DON’Ts of what it takes to be or become a successful author.

I remember being seriously incensed a few years ago when some writing advice-giver actually tweeted that if you happen to be a writer promoting your work and you don’t have tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, it’s a sure sign that you’re just not trying hard enough.

“You’re just not trying hard enough!”

That kind of attitude was merely evidence of an alarming, growing trend.

Even today, there seems to be no short supply of soothsayers proclaiming that you should write, write, write till you’ve either churned out some semblance of a book or your fingers fall off. If that story seems to be taking its sweet time congealing, then by god–you’d better choke that baby out or burnout trying.

You also really ought to spend endless hours whoring it out like crazy, lest you get left behind in the dust of this supposed digital gold rush.

Oh, please. Gimme a break!

To add insult to injury, that particular tweeter hadn’t managed to gain even have half of that strongly suggested following.

Of course, it is true that productivity and ingenuity both fuel success. A strong web presence is certainly essential to a writer’s success in this technologically obsessed age. To be quite honest, there’s nothing fundamentally indefensible about writing solely for the sake of pocketing a few dollars either.

The economy being what it is–these days, we’re all doing what we can. I guess.

Let me ask you this, though:

Has writing ever been a craft that could be forced, rushed, or faked? Click To Tweet

A truly good story happens in its own time.

Whether that time happens to be one hour or a thousand days will vary from one writer to the next and from one story to the next. Make no mistake, Dear Writer. By no means do I suggest that you be lackadaisical in your efforts.

Just remember this one thing:

Writers are always working and growing, whether we’re scribbling or not. Whether we’re aware of it, or not. Click To Tweet

So, let’s come back to our senses and maybe not stress out over it so much, lest you sell both yourself and your craft short.

Yes, the world can be a harsh environment for a fertile mind.

Even so, you can still afford to spare a moment to pause, take a step back and look. Look where you started and look where you are now.

“You’ve come a long way, Dear Writer!”

Be proud of the distance you’ve traveled and how much you’ve accomplished, so far.

Just think, there’s a lot more where that came from.

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