On Writing... Wanting

I have a couple of writing books on my shelf that I've read so often that the pages are dog eared. I've highlighted memorable text and even, at times, find myself going back to reread the same lessons over and over. The Seven Steps on the Writer's Path by Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott is one of those books.

But I didn't exactly bring this up to pitch the book. If you're interested you'll pick it up. No. The reason why I bring this up is because I wanted to talk about Step 2... Wanting.

Did you know that it takes 21 days of a continuous activity in order for it to become a habit? This would be probably the only piece of information that I remember (and practice) from a Weight Loss through Hypnosis seminar that I took years ago. The guy giving the workshop was every bit as charismatic as Anthony Robbins, but it still didn't keep me from falling asleep when they did the hypnosis part of the session. (The speaker was impressed by how deep under I could go. Little did he know...) Anyway, what has this got to do with writing and wanting? More than you would think. Here's a little tidbit for all of you writers just starting out. I wrote for twelve years before selling a book. Yup, twelve years. Of course, during that time I also raised one child and gave birth to another. I wrote a short story that was published in a regional Magazine and I wrote articles, attended meetings, attended conferences, listened to workshops and dreamed. Oh yeah, somewhere along the way I wrote three books. Twelve years, three books. You are telling me the stats are not that good. But out of those books the second and the third sold with 6 months of each other. The first, will probably never see the light of day, but did receive a nice compliment from an agent when she told me "You write creepy very well".

There are many things that I've WANTED very much over the years. I wanted to be a size 10, but frankly, I was born a size 13. I wanted to win Megabucks, but I often forget what day the drawings are, or just to buy a ticket. And, I wanted to find a way to save my mom from cancer. Probably the hardest thing I've ever dealt with, but it didn't stop the cancer. There are a lot of very important things that I've wanted in my life, but most of them I couldn't find the heart to follow through and put the committment into it. The cancer and the megabucks, I came to realize, were out of my control. But the rest I have to admit that I wanted nearly enough. But my writing? I have always wanted this enough. Even when I had to retype a manuscript for the third time because my daughter deleted it from my old Brothers Word Processor without a backup. Even when I received two rejections for the same manuscript from two different editors from the same publishing house on the same day (Valentine's Day, I might add) did I give up.

I think I beat the 21 days committment by a few years, give or take, but if you want the dream then you have to put in the time and committment to make it come true. My dream still is coming true. So, how much committment are you willing to give?


©Hotbutton Press said...

Great post.... commitment is such a chore, isn't it? LOL. Cousin to discipline. So many good ideas never see the light of day thanks to those two.

You must write something for the new group blog:



Helen Ginger said...

Great post.

I wonder how many days it takes to fall out of a habit? That seems easier than establishing one.

Not sure that "luck" has anything to do with your success. It was hard work.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post, and I admire and relate to your resolve, your commitment. What is that prayer? "Lord, help me to change the things that I can change, and to accept the things I cannot change, and give me the wisdom to know the difference."

Something like that.

Marvin D Wilson
Blogs at: http://inspiritandtruths.blogspot.com/
Eye Twitter 2 - http://twitter/Paize_Fiddler

zhadi said...

This blog challenge has been a good exercise for ingraining the writing habit. I was so upset when I couldn't type for two days - it was like an itch I couldn't scratch!

I love your posts!

Karen K. Kennedy said...

Sometimes I think writing is an addiction, not a commitment. I can't imagine not doing it. Maybe I'll try hypnosis!

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