Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Photo by Juditu

There is a wonderful quote in Writer’s Digest, (October 2012) by author Patricia Cornwell. It is in response to a question about rejections and what advice she gives writers. Here’s the quote:

“Quitting can’t be an option. You don’t become a writer—you are one. And if you really are a writer, it’s like telling a songbird to shut up—you can’t.”

I agree, yet, in chat time with some of my writer pals, I have bemoaned the trials and tribulations of writing and publishing, marketing and promoting. Crafting, revising, and polishing a story can be frustrating and grueling. However, despite this, I can’t imagine not spending as much of my time as possible engaged in this struggle. In fact, when I am put into a situation that doesn’t allow as much writing time as I’d like, I become
Photo by AcrylicArtist
edgy and discontent. I crave the struggle even though I may still fantasize about throwing a manuscript out an open window (complete with laptop). Quitting is not an option. Like the songbird mentioned by Ms. Cornwell, I can’t shut up (ask anyone who knows me).

Do you consider yourself this kind of writer—the songbird that can’t be quieted? Have circumstances ever road-blocked your writing? If so, how did this affect you? 

A happy Spring to all! 

50 comments:

  1. I completely understand how you feel! The struggle, although exhausting and grueling, is part of the process. I do miss it when it's gone, like when I'm between manuscripts. I guess we're masochistic, huh? :)

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    1. Ha! It does sort of seem like we lean toward being masochistc, doesn't it? Thanks, Emily!

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  2. I just spent a full week tearing my hair out over a single chapter (granted, it's a long chapter, but still). I threw nothing but the occasional obscenity, but I came close. And yet, I love it.

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    1. Ahh, now there's the perfect example of not giving up on something. I'm glad you ended up loving that chapter, Jeff.

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  3. So true! I can't even imagine NOT writing - it's just part of who I am. the songbird analogy is perfect!
    Hope you're feeling well!

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    1. I agree, Jemi! And I'm feeling a bit better every day--thank you!!!! : )

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  4. And this is why my hubby gave me a MacBook for Christmas. He knew I go insane on vacations when I can't write. Using my kids' laptop is out of the question. The letters stick. And now we can go on longer vacation (hence why he gave me the MacBook). :D

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    1. Oh, Stina, what a wonderful gift!!! Like you, I have to have writing time even on vacations, too. Enjoy that MacBook and happy writing!

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  5. Yes, that's a good way to describe it! I've been writing ever since I could hold a crayon.

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  6. I'm a sporadic writer, always have been. I can go months, even years, without writing anything of any significance. But when I am writing, I seem to be pretty prolific and unstoppable. I'm like a mockingbird who sings constantly in the spring and summer but hardly at all in fall and winter.

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    1. What an awesome comparison, Bish--and in keeping with the songbird idea. Ha! Fabulous!

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  7. Awwww you can never silence songbirds! Yay!!!

    Take care
    x

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  8. So true. If I don't write, I get really cranky. It's like being hungry and not being able to eat. Beautiful birds in those images.

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    1. Carol, I love "like being hungry and not being able to eat." That's perfect! Here's hoping you have a non-cranky day, week, etc. ; )

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  9. I totally understand this. I'm at that stage right now, waiting for edits from my publisher but not wanting to work on anything else I'll have to put down when they come. It's making me edgy. lol

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    1. Very exciting to be waiting on edits, Donna, but not writing is still not writing. I feel your pain. : )

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  10. Oh, man! Did I ever related to this post. I stood at that window yesterday with a manuscript in hand, thinking it might be better if people discovered this one, one page at a scattered time.

    :-)

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    1. Hilarious, Lee! I hope you didn't open that window! : )

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    2. No. I re-wrote the darned thing--at least I started to.

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  11. Do songbirds sing at night? If not, then I have one up on them! I often wake in the middle of the night with story ideas or thoughts about my novel that won't let go until I get them written down... although I can't sing while I'm doing it or my wife would not be happy.

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    1. Now that's an interesting point, Dave. And remember: Happy wife = happy life. ; )

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  12. Great post, Cynthia. The more freedom I have to write, the happier I am!

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    1. I agree! I get so frustrated when my day fills up with non-writing stuff. Ugh!

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  13. I can't imagine I'll ever stop writing. I have days off but even then I often do something writing related.

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    1. That is always true for me, too, Patsy. Even on days off I will likely read, take notes about a work in progress, or something. But I love this.

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  14. This is so true! I recently received a rejection that hit extra hard, for some reason. After two days of feeling like crap, I thought, well, I could always stop writing. And just having that thought felt like the biggest lie ever. I could never stop writing.It was a good reminder to me of why I do this in the first place.

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    1. Oh, I am sorry to read about that rejection, Ruth. They sting. But at least it was a reminder of how much you love writing. We have to love it to endure all the tough times, right? ; )

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  15. I have wanted to quit many times, and I have, but only for a couple of weeks. Sometimes we writers just need a break from rejections.

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    1. It's true, but those breaks make us realize what we're missing.

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  16. Hi, Cynthia,
    Yup. I do get stressed when I'm working on something and the words just won't come out right and I don't have enough time to work on it. Usually, I sacrifice by staying up later to write or edit.

    Don't think I'll ever give up writing, no matter how challenging it might be to complete whatever book is on the front or back burner.

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  17. I tried quitting once... it didn't work ;)

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    1. And wonderful that it didn't, right? Thanks, Lynda!

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  18. I ditto Lyn--I quit once for 10 years, after being discouraged I wasn't "getting anywhere." But then I got back into it. I'm trying again! Mostly, I just LOVE doing it.

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    1. I really believe that the love is what matters most--especially when in all capital letters. : ) So much better than discouragement.

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  19. i love that quote. and how true. I would write even if i never got paid to do it:)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. I agree, Nutschell. Although, getting paid isn't bad, either. : )

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  20. Great post. So true. Writers write as you can never silence a songbird anyway!

    Nas

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    1. Thanks, Nas! Imagine a world without songbirds or writers. . . Eeek.

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  21. I can't imagine not writing. When I taught, I wrote on summers, holidays, and week-ends. What a luxury it was to take early retirement and be totally immersed in the world of reading and writing. I'll be writing forever.

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  22. What a glorious retirement, Elizabeth! Enjoy!

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  23. Thanks for stopping by my new blog and commenting. (Victorian Scribbles). I hope you'll be back.

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  24. Through my junior high and high years I was steadily writing, but not every day. As an adult, once I hit 18, I was always in the middle of something, whether writing or submitting. I can't imagine life without the writing process.

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    1. I can't imagine a life without writing, either, Medeia. Thanks for commenting.

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  25. dropping by to say howdy! I really love that quote. quitting is not an option
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. And a big howdy right back at you, Nutschell! Thanks for stopping by! : )

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  26. I am the songbird that can't be quieted. When I can't write for a few days, I feel out of sorts and flagging in energy until I can get back to it.

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    1. I feel the same way when I don't/can't write, Marcia.

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