Written by: Nancy Sweetland
Happy St. Pat’s day to all us wannabe Irish! Actually, according to my grandmother, I’m a bit Irish (very little bit, but her maiden name was Boyle, so maybe she wasn’t kidding).
Thought you might be interested in a blog post from BookBrowsing that came out this morning. Here it is: MARCH 17, 2016: If you’re not scared you’re not trying hard enough…by Nancy Sweetland
Good morning! I’m delighted to be a guest here and hope to give you something to think about as you head back to your computer and your work in progress. Going through my email today I ran across a great blog by Nick Stephenson, whom some of you may know as a coach and teacher. I always read through anything he feels important enough to comment on, and I often come away with a new idea, a different perspective and sometimes even the possibility for a plot.
What I came away with today was two comments that hit home. I’ve been mulling over them; perhaps you will, too: 1) “If you’re not scared, you’re not trying hard enough.” And, 2) “You don’t have to be THE BEST.”
These gave me pause. The first, about being scared of doing the work I really want to do, reminded me of how many times I have found myself discarding an idea for a story, poem or even a novel because of what the ramifications might be if my (friend, mother, neighbor, son…) read it in print. I know the subject in question would be good work because I would be so invested in it. It’s my darling, it’s something so dear to my heart…etc. etc. But writing it would be scary. It’s not just that it’s perhaps controversial. It’s that bleeding it out would open me up to criticism, possibly even ridicule. Scary? You bet.
But…maybe I should rethink that. Maybe I haven’t been trying hard enough, reaching far enough. My romance and mystery novels, even my short stories, are, I’m convinced, adequate, maybe even more than adequate. But they don’t dig deep into that murky basement of things I know. Things that might resonate with a reader in a way a mystery or romance never could. Things that won’t likely see the light of publication.
Nick’s second comment about not needing to be the best also hit home. Maybe we don’t write some things because we’re fearful they won’t be good enough. Maybe we’ve worked hard on something that won’t make that top slot, that may just end up somewhere in the middle of the slush pile.
But isn’t that better than being nowhere at all? It’s not the best, maybe, but it’s not the worst, either, and it’s worth the time I spent in writing it. Whether an editor sees its worth, or whether a reader agrees with it, enjoys or hates it isn’t important. It is. It’s real. It’s there, for better or worse. And it’s mine, darn it. It may not be THE BEST, but it’s MY best. For now. And as I grow as a writer, and as a person, my best will grow, too.
“The Perfect Suspect” – coming out soon from Soul Mate Publishing:
Twice divorced and wary about relationships, Jen Wright buys a cabin sight-unseen in far north Wisconsin to get away to write her elusive next novel. She doesn’t expect to find her first ex-husband (but with a reconstructed face) shot to death in the bedroom. She also doesn’t expect to be attracted to handsome Deputy Ross Tyler, recently rejected by his fiancé. Like Jen, he’s unwilling to risk his heart again. Is there a chance for a relationship? Do either of them want one? She’s the perfect suspect and the blustery Sheriff isn’t going to let her forget it. When the murder gun is found in her fan, he’s even more convinced of her guilt. The PI she hires to investigate is killed; his ever-present briefcase is missing. Jen’s sure it was no accident but can’t convince the law. She realizes she’s actually living a good plot for her new novel. Unfortunately, she may have to write it from jail.
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