Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Writing Life is Not for Fortune Cookies

I saved a fortune from a Chinese cookie dated 5-7-07 that reads: Your hard work is about to pay off. For awhile, I hung my hat on the predictions of a pseudo-psychic and fellow author who predicted I'd sell soon, on a date with a three in it. I'm not sure what constitutes "soon" in the metaphysical realm, but that was almost a year ago to this day. Let's hope she didn't mean 2013. Oh, and I shouldn't forget, enough pennies tossed in a fountain to buy a base-line latte.

I'm thankful for all the amazing opportunities I've been given this past year. Being nominated for a Golden Heart award, signing with an agent, my first contract with a small press for a short story, and coming full circle to truly appreciating the amazing friends and writers I surround myself with. Most of all, perhaps, was entering a mental and emotional realm where I can no longer not write.

I know this isn't the traditional time of year to look ahead but for some reason Fall tends to be when things change in my life--a sort of bookmark each year in the greater picture. Today, I took down the Chinese fortune. Symbolic? Maybe. Fate and good fortune don't always just happen. Sometimes you must work toward them. Hard. Sometimes when you think you just can't give anymore, that's when you find the true artist inside, lurking. Lucky calls don't rain down on us like an unpredicted shower. They are the end result of putting our work and the faith we have in ourselves out there in more ways than we ever have. Maybe that's why I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel competition, first paragraph contests and took control of my writing future in one of the hardest ways imaginable this year. If success is based on numbers--daily page counts, number of times a writer puts her work out there, the number of rejections accumulated, then the coming year is when I play the odds.

What will you do the play the odds this year?


Marilyn Brant said...

Another thought-provoking post, L.A. Thanks for sharing your insights!

Sometimes, in the writing world, progress seems to be measured in millimeters not miles. One thing I keep trying to remind myself of is that it takes time to see the patterns of change and growth. I may not recognize improvements over the course of a few months or even a season, but if I look back on a whole year (or on my 5 years in RWA, for instance...), there have been huge leaps. Seeing those keeps me feeling hopeful that there are more to come :).

Sandra Ferguson said...

This is one of your best posts yet. Why? Glad you asked. Because in these words . . . poignant, sad, determined . . . is you. The true inner you that is filled with an infinite amount of determination to be published.

I don't hold faith with mystical, magical powers -- too much of a hard-core realist for those whismical-wave-the-wand, fairy dust sort of things to work for me. Nope, I'm more a grit my damn teeth so hard they fracture then get it on with it. So from one determined gal to another . . .

You will sell. When the timing is right for you. Why? Glad you asked. Because you're simply too tenacious not to. Wow! wasn't that easy? See, you should have simply asked me earlier. *GRIN* Yeah, you can hit me next time you see me. I'll deserve it.