Saturday, December 27, 2008
Finding Your Groove
That's not my world.
If the world was perfect and nothing interrupted, writing would continue to be a breeze. That's not the way it works in the real world. Ever. :) I have a toddler who's far more hyperactive than most children (this from professionals LOL! He's my first kid, so how would I know the difference?). Work is a constant stress. I wake up at OMG that's early in the morning. And my husband has a full time job of his own. Where is that soft quiet time? The perfect writing moment when the muse speaks?
I have to fight for what I want. What I need. And writing IS worth it to me. It's something I feel passionate about and something I love. So ask yourself before you set the new goals for 2009: What do I feel passionate about? What do I want and am I willing to carve out time to make it so? Being frustrated is normal. If I waited for my fickle muse to get around to inspiring me, another home catastrophe would interrupt his magic.
If you think it's a silly idea, let me tell you a story. There's a guy I know, a strong willed man who was passionate about cooking. It was his hobby and he was really good at it, and since his retirement from web design, he had nothing but time to perfect it. His wife adored his cooking and wished he could reproduce some of those recipes, but he was a by the seat of his pants kind of guy.
One day, frustrated with his inability to remember some of the best recipes in the world, she convinced him to take his love of cooking and combine it with what he used to do for a living. Give him a place to put his creations and give him an interactive way of staying interested.
His excuses were many and the wife countered each one until the cook was forced to try it out or listen to her nagging for eternity. Since he was deaf in one ear already, that wasn't a comforting prospect.
Finally he did it, with his wife following him around with a notebook and pen to write down all his ingredients and preparation. The first recipe went up and the cook realized it was kind of neat to be able to go back and find his recipes again. So it continued. He struggled to find a way to make it work and the wife soon left him to his own devices, where he had to rethink the way he cooked. Instead of flinging things into the pan like always, he had to remind himself to take notes, to think his way through, to create the perfect recipe for his imaginary readers.
Writers are like that, don't you think? We start out young and fresh, slamming out words and stories until one day we make our sale. Then things change a bit. Now you're published and there are certain things expected of you. Learn your craft, write the story for reader's ease, make things easier on yourself by writing the story well to start with...
Continuing with the story...
So he created this blog, expecting no one to care, wondering if anyone paid attention. Suddenly strange things started happening. He got emails requesting help on this or that, received comments for his recipes, had others making his recipes and posting comments about it.
He perfected his art: photography, content, voice until he received acclaim from many other food bloggers and publishers in the food biz. He honed the tools necessary, and yes, some days it was a struggle. Some days he wondered why did what he did but at the end of the day he looked back over his work and said...wow. I did that. And it all started from one moment. One key moment that made him say, I can do that. Let me try and he's still doing his thing.
What tools do you need as an author? A good grasp of grammar, understanding conflict/resolution, finding that groove and sticking with it, muse or no muse.
The food blog market is flooded with bloggers, all trying to make a niche for themselves. Did he work hard to get what he needed? Yes. Did he have to work long hours outside his full time job to make it happen? Yes. Did he need to figure out how to balance his day job, family, and his blogging hobby? Yes.
You can too. But first...find that groove and set your 2009 goals. Good luck!
-- Dawn Montgomery