Some years ago at a fancy writer’s conference I attended, a workshop leader shared his“formula to be a writer.” He was a pretty successful fiction writer, a guy who had published multiple well received books, who had taught and traveled and been around the writing racket long enough to know what he was talking about.
His formula: commitment, discipline, and endurance. This would turn out to be the best writing advice anyone’s ever given me. It is unequivocal, not open to interpretation or the whims of taste or editorial judgment. Especially the endurance part.
My debut novel, “Homing Instincts,” was published in 2014, and my new novel, “Arborview,” will be out in 2021. I feel incredibly blessed. Publishing is a tough business (massive understatement.) We can’t ultimately control whether our work is noticed by the powers-that-be, or even read past the first three pages. So I focus on the part that is within my power. I write. I dig in and hold on and make it work. All the lucky breaks, all the friends with the right connections, don’t mean a thing without tenacity and hard work.
Cathy and I have been friends a long time, since the days we were MFA students wondering how our lives would unfold. Turns out, they’re unfolding just fine and we’re still writing. Through Write Despite, we’re encouraging our fellow writers to do the same. Join us, follow our blog. Draw inspiration, annoyance, maybe even a few laughs from us and our guests, and then get back to work. We’re cheering you on.