Whether you’re the Little Engine that could (I think I can, I think I can) or Dory from Finding Nemo (Just keep swimming) every writer needs a little motivation to make the journey easier. Karin Tabke is here to show us how.
In light of the abysmal economy and the never-ending flux of the publishing industry, I thought it would be nice to write something uplifting and positive. Part of this blog post I wrote several years ago when I gave a speech at the Pro Retreat in San Francisco, but I stumbled upon it the other day when I was cleaning up some files and it made me smile. It also renewed my own hope, with my own writing career that has hit some bumps along the way.
I’m going to assume since you are reading this at Romance U, we all have the same thing in common: Writing. And because of that commonality, we have all journeyed to this place today.
Writing is also a journey. It can be and usually is, a long, arduous trek. Full of as many twists and turns as a murder mystery. For a few, the journey is a quick jog to the corner grocery store. The long and arduous comes later. Regardless, we are all traveling at our own speed from our own point A’s to our own point B’s. Many of us begin at the same point A, but our subsequent points can vary. They are neither right nor wrong, they are simply ours. If during our journey, we’re too busy looking out the window to where everyone else is going or just came from, we’re going to get a kink in our neck or crash. It’s paramount to our success to keep focused on our goals.
So how do we get to point B and beyond? I could talk about the published path, what to submit, who to submit to and so forth. I could even go into plotting, pacing, sentence structure and grammar. Or talk heroes heroines, and villains. However, none of that information will help you if you do not possess one very important ingredient. An ingredient that is vital to life in general: the belief that you will succeed.
“Don’t Stop Believing,” the signature song of the American rock band Journey, was written 30 years ago. Don’t Stop Believing was the first song I downloaded on my iPod. It’s the one song I actively search for and play each time I sit down to write. Most everyone I know, young and old, have heard the song and know many of the words. It’s timeless. The single most important reason this song has endured through the decades is its message: “Don’t stop believing, hold onto that feeling.”
The minute you stop believing in yourself, your goal or your dreams, you lose something vital. Hope. When you lose hope, you wither up and die. Hope is life. It’s energy. It’s adrenaline. It’s the promise of success, of love, of grabbing the golden ring and hanging on for the wild ride. It’s laughing in the face of every editor, publisher, agent or even loved ones who said you’d never do it, never finish, never be successful.
Hope, defined: to cherish a desire with anticipation; to desire with expectation of obtainment; to expect with confidence.
Believe, defined: to accept as true, genuine, or real; to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something.
When I set upon my publication journey, I knew I was going to sell my book to New York. I knew it as sure as I knew I was born with brown eyes. It was going to happen because I was going to make it happen. While I had my moments of discouragement and wanting to take a break from the writing, I always knew I would come back better than ever, pass Go, and collect my two-hundred dollars.
I refused to stop believing or stop hoping.
Because when hope is gone, the game is lost. The excitement and anticipation dry up. There is no heart, no soul, and no drive. A terrible emptiness can eat you up.
Believing in yourself and hope go hand in hand.
Without the belief that you will overcome and achieve your goals, there is no hope.
Hope and belief, in my opinion, is the fuel that drives our writer engines. You need that engine to power you to your goal, that engine requires huge amounts of emotional fuel to run. If you believe it will happen and hope it will happen, then the engine is running. Now you have to put it into gear and start driving.
With each journey we begin, there is a destination. Sometimes we can wing it and find our way, but to places we have never been, an up-to-date GPS or a map helps, but sometimes even the best-planned trips require taking a detour or unexpected turn. If you get lost, you may have to back track to see where you went wrong. You might even have to ask someone for help with the directions. And then, even when you think you’re back on track, you may come to an obstacle in the middle of the road or the bridge might be out. Even though you can see the other side of the river, you may have to take a very long way around. Sometimes, we just have to change our destination. Detours abound in life, but hope and belief keep us going.
It’s okay to change your mind so long as it’s your decision to make that change. It’s okay to improvise, adapt and overcome when situations change. Finding you way means accepting that there is a roadblock and overcoming it. Sometimes you can plow straight through it. Sometimes you have to build a bridge over it or dig a tunnel to get under it. This usually means delays, more energy spent and recalculating your travel schedule. But sometimes, you find a really cool shortcut.
The writing journey just as any journey requires active participation. You have to make it happen. You cannot throw yourself to the winds of fate and pray good things will come your way. If you do, you’re liable to get swept away as fate can be fickle. You do not want to end up somewhere barren and desolate and out of gas.
I believe that nothing in life worth having comes free. I believe that working hard for something you desire, makes it that much more cherished, valued and difficult for someone to take away. I believe it is the journey that defines us. I believe in the positive and not the negative. I believe that we all have our own paths that only we can travel. I believe in me and I believe in you.
I hope you find your path, your strength and your future. It will be what you make of it. It will be what you hope it to be. It will be what you believe it to be.
So, Don’t Stop Believing in yourself and your goals.
See it, believe it, be it.
PS, Id love to hear about some of your writing roadblocks and how you blew through them!
RU Crew – it’s your lucky day! Karin is giving away one of her backlist books to a commenter today – so get to commenting!
Join us tomorrow for Summer of Groupies and Gratitude with Wendy Corsi Staub
Bio: Award winning author Karin Tabke isn’t just another author with steamy stories to tell, but a cop’s wife who has “seen it all and heard it all.” Some of the hottest stories come from behind the blue wall of law enforcement rather than from in front. Married to a street cop, now retired, Karin is intimate with both and proves it with her sizzling tales of hot cops. Not only are her cops hot, but so are her sexy knights and bad boy lycans. Karin’s Blood Sword Legacy series is a must read for anyone who loves tales of yore when men were men and women were women, and love did conqueror all. Her dark, erotic Blood Moon Rising paranormal trilogy is best described as “Sons of Anarchy meets Rise of Lycans.” Her L.O.S.T. series (w/a Karin Harlow) is paranormal romantic suspense at its “chilling and sizzling” best. You don’t want to miss any of Karin’s deliciously edgy tales of danger and passion!
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for September 26-30, 2011
- Rocky Road – great ice cream, but a bumpy ride to publication! by Nancy Naigle
- The Prolific Pen
- Ozone and Squelching Shoes: What Unexpected Thunderstorms Can Teach About Protecting the Work – Jan O’Hara
- Complacency – A Path Authors Should Never Tread with Handsome Hansel