Tag Archives: writer’s life

Writer’s Training

Today Dear Daughter begins driver’s training.  She’s thrilled beyond words to start this part of her life’s journey.  For two weeks she’ll learn the basics in the classroom portion.  When to stop, when to yield, when to merge.  Upon her 15th birthday, she’ll have the pleasure of taking her written test.

A straight “A” student, she’s already passed the exam in her head.  She’s not worried about her ability to answer the questions correctly so she can receive her permit.  Then watch out world, she’ll be road-ready–with a parent–until she completes behind the wheel in another year and takes her actual test.

She’s five foot nothing and fearless.  To her, driving is coveted.  It’s something she looks forward to doing in a way Eldest never did.  For DD, her permit and license represent freedom and success.  For Eldest, it was simply a natural part of growing up.  Something you do so your parents don’t have to drive you to band practice. 

He’s conservative: DD is ready for a cross-country road trip–or cruising the square, at the very least.

Our writing journey is similar.  At some point in our lives, we look at books in a different way.  We see them as a vehicle to another future, and so we begin our own training.

Writer’s training.

Some of us are fearless and just know we’ll succeed.  We never doubt that our novels will take us on a cross-country trek, so we begin the journey with a grand road trip in mind.  Others fall into writing as a means to an end. 

Regardless, we all go through writer’s training. 

Do you remember the moment you decided to write?  How have you trained for your journey, both in the classroom and behind the wheel?  What kind of driver writer are you: fearless and bold or quietly clocking the miles to success?

Curious minds want to know.

They’re coming to take me away…

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being judged? 

My geriatric lab got all snippety with me yesterday when I laughed out loud.  Granted it was just the two of us in the house, but still, she acted like I had been pushed off the Cliffs of Insanity and she wanted nothing more to do with me.

She scrambled to her feet, gave me a backward glance with ears down and pity in her eyes and sauntered off to the laundry room.  Pretty good for a dog with bad shoulders.  Pretty clear message, as well.

The dark, hot, noisy, smelly room was preferable to my laughter and the fact that I was one statistic away from being that writer.   A lunatic.  The poet who pens horrible stanzas whenever they loosen the restraints or flings herself off the Cliffs.

I can promise you, I’m not that kind of writer.  Though I can see how it happens.  A few questionable threads on writer’s boards of late and a few down in the dumps blog posts in the blogosphere make the leap not so wild.

Sometimes when we get rejections from agents or editors we feel as if we are being judged personally.  We get defensive.  Yell an invective or two.  Laugh maniacally while making promises to stalk agents in bathroom stalls at conferences. 

We often feel this same sense of judgement when we receive our manuscripts back from our critters, or when we enter an online contest and don’t get picked.  Even if the contest was The Crappiest 250 Words to Start a Novel in the History of Writing.

Our writer’s egos can be so fragile.

So what keeps us going?  In the face of horrible odds (and I paraphrase: being in the 99th percent isn’t good enough…), shoe boxes filled with rejections and scrawled red pen on our precious manuscripts, we continue to put ourselves out there.

I often wonder if it is writing that makes us crazy or if crazy people are drawn to writing.

Really, I feel perfectly sane.  On most days.  Not at all inclined to hear voices in my head.  Or celebrate invisible muses.  Pray for plot bunnies.  Break down and throw the computer out the window if I get one more e-jection.  None of that stuff.

I’m perfectly normal.

Just like you.

Oh wait, you’re a writer too!

Have a great day : )