Friday, September 02, 2016

One and Done

I just finished reading Michael Connelly's THE CROSSING. I loved it, as I usually do his books. But near the end, Harry Bosch replies to a question with the comment: "One and done." He meant that he was no longer going to do any more defense investigations, but the phrase "one and done" got me to thinking about writing.

Some authors do one and done when it comes to writing. In other words, they write one book and never write another. Even published authors. There are several reasons for this:
  • They finished writing their first book, couldn't get it published, so lost heart and gave up.
  • They got it published, it didn't sell well, got cut by their publisher, so gave up.
  • They self-published and sales were dismal, so gave up.
  • They found writing tedious and not really how they wanted to spend their time.
  • They only had one book in them.
Let's address the last two bullet points first:

If you think you want to be an author, give it a good solid try, and find it's not for you, just move along with no regrets. It's simply not your cup of tea. Writing can be difficult, tedious, lonely, and it's time consuming. For those of us who love it, it's a painful pleasure and what makes us tick. Better you move on and find something you can be truly passionate about. Life's too short to spend time on something you don't enjoy.

If you only had one book in you, got it out, and can honestly say your well is dry, again, move along with no regrets or guilt. It happens. I know several authors that has happened to, and it's no reflection on them or their writing. 

If you fall under one of the first three bullet points, let me ask you this: Do you enjoy writing? I mean REALLY enjoy it? Does the passion to write still burn in your gut, even though you've put it aside and labeled yourself a failure? If so, then pull up your big girl/boy pants and get writing again.

Let me repeat: Writing can be difficult, tedious, lonely, and time consuming. And that's the fun part! 

The business of writing can be brutal. That's the no so fun part.

What do Dr. Seuss, John Grisham, Alex Haley, J. K. Rowling, Rudyard Kipling, and James Patterson all have in common, besides being world famous authors? All of them, and many more in their league, all suffered many rejections by the publishing world.  Check out this list of 50 Iconic Writers Who Were Repeatedly Rejected

If you want something bad enough, you will continue to push, fall, get up, and continue to push, refusing to give up. Passion does that to us. It fuels our actions toward a goal, even when we think we have nothing more to give.

TOO BIG TO MISS was my first published novel. I wrote two others before that which were rejected by publishers. Even TOO BIG TO MISS met with numerous rejections before finally being picked up. Had I given up, there would be no Odelia Grey series, which at this point is 12 books long, no Ghost of Granny Apples series, no Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries, and no Winnie Wilde romance series. My refusal to give up gave birth to all the books that came after TOO BIG TO MISS, and will give birth to all the books I've still to write.

So if you believe you have more than one book in you, get back to the computer and get those fingers flying! 

Remember, only you can fulfill your dreams. Others can cheer you on, but ONLY YOU have the power to make it happen.

One and done is not an option for someone who is consumed by the fire to write.

1 comment:

Maggie King said...

Some of the authors on my "Missing Authors" blog series fell into one of these categories. Thanks for a god post, Sue Ann.