Reach the finish line and get into the race!

Today, I hit the play button to a random podcast for the sole purpose of having background noise. I had no intention of actively listening. It was just something to fill the white noise around my desk. Then, something caught my ear. I didn’t catch the man’s name but he said made me laugh. He spoke about a conversation with someone else giving him a hard time. This business writer said, “My ugly published book is still better than you unfinished one”. My last workshop touched on the same point. Many of us still stuck in the stalls hold back from the race because we keep getting spooked. We keep waiting for the perfect moment. We keep editing something that should have been done. We get distracted by the shiny objects around us.

There a time when we need to just take off running. Race or no race. Why did you start in the first place? Those only in it for the money and fame will most likely fall behind real writers or quit. Do you want to be the quitter? Don’t make your own end a tragic tale. Think of your message. Stop hitting the edit button in your mind, and just focus. Sometimes, the raw part of our work is better and closer to the truth in our writing than the over-edited version. Does this mean we stop and upload something into Amazon before we do any editing? No, this would be the wrong answer and poor quality for our audience. The point is take a look at raw writing of your work and understand what you are trying to tell your readers. It means you need to stop being afraid of being finished with your work. The only time you should put down your pen or stop moving those fingers is when the work is done. Never be a failed dieter in your own writing because you didn’t empty all the contents locked in your mind. Miss a day? So what! Pick it back up and get your job done as a writer. Or do you want to the one going to workshops 10 years later because you are still daydreaming about being a writer? Be the writer and finish something!

– Mahieu

Getting published! Finding the link!

After attending book fairs and classes with other authors, I heard a reoccurring theme when it came to finding a publisher or agent.  I asked those who didn’t self-publish how they managed to get an agent to look at their work.  Many of them answered by saying they found an agent or were approached by one after entering and placing in a writing contest.  The Writer’s Market and other reference books offer such listings.  It’s as simple as typing the word writing contest in the search engine.  In my support of self-published authors I found something this week that would help curb any critics to our decision.  You may gain more “credibility”, and I use this word carefully, with those who may turn their nose down at self-publishing by entering and placing in a contest.  I thought I would share the link I found this week during my own research – http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writing-competitions.  It has references and contest links for non-published writers and self-published writers.  Remember to keep doing your search and look for opportunities.  There are many other authors and organizations that have programs or contests to help you get started.

~Mahieu Spaid