Staying connected

So many writers have actual real life jobs that they’re actually getting paid to do, while writing is a hobby passion that they must find time outside of job and family to pursue. I’m definitely one of those people. I get so caught up in the everyday tragedies of my job (I’m a therapist, there really are daily tragedies) or the busy work of my second job (grading college papers is nothing like editing a novel) that I lose sight of my passion at times. Yes, I have been itching to get back to writing, but at the same time, I’m so absorbed in everything else, it has begun to slip my mind more and more.

I had lunch with a writer friend yesterday, and it was the boost I needed. She is so passionate about her books and her journey, and I every time we meet I feel my passion growing again. Talking books we’ve read, books we’re writing, plot, characters, querying…the whole world that I’ve had to pretty much  ignore for the past several weeks. I just keep telling myself…in two weeks, I will be done teaching my class. In two weeks, I will be down to one job, forty(ish) hours a week, which leaves all sorts of free time.

Those connections are important. Whether you know someone in person or keep track of people on blogs and social networking sites, keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry helps to feed that passion. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’ve been reading so many blogs and tweets that I start to get discouraged. They make getting published sound so bleak at times. Endless mentions of the “slush pile,” which is apparently growing and growing as more people decide now is their time to become the next J.K. Rowling or E.L. James*. (Perhaps I need to use my initials… R.L. Olsen…) Most of us will never make it to that status. As important as connections are, when I get really discouraged, that is the time to unplug for a tidge. So. Stay connected, but not too connected but know your limits. Connect with people who encourage you and help you grow, and stay away from those who would discourage you and make you feel that your work is anything less than the beautiful diamond in the rough you know it to be.

Above all else…Write like no one is reading!

*These are not necessarily authors I endorse (though I love Harry Potter), but were the first that popped into my head when I think of the rise to stardom from humble beginnings

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