The other day through a coalescing of feelings, reading old blog posts and considering the allegorical map of my work over the past ten years a post concerning the experiences, emotions and elements which drive of A Writer formed.
I have to admit to a measure of gratitude and a smidge (a small smidge) of pride at the response. There was definitely a sense gladness at having contributed to the collective swirl which is the WP writing community.
For there is always ‘An However’
Of course being A Writer one piece is going to agitate the Writing part of your being, concerns would bubble up.
Could I have phrased ‘that’ part in a clearer way?
Was there repetition?
Did ‘that’ part need qualification?
You know the sort of experiences, irrespective of how much positive feedback you get, you still fret and fidget. You wouldn’t be A True Writer otherwise.
Anyway, preamble aside.
Another issue appeared into my head.
Which Way. Alone or In Team
One of the many topics/aspects of writing which are relevant to your calling and even career as A Writer and so here is:
The Path You Choose.
The question arises after you have set about writing your work, revising it and attending to some editing and you have a ‘finished’ work in front of you. This ‘finished’ work is not necessarily a completed novel, story, poem or factual work it may well be ‘a part’
Before I conduct you along to much more mystery it is necessary to consider an excellent post raised recently concerning Bad Advice given to new writers. I attach the link for you to read and consider. Then I will move along
It is at this stage you stand where the roads branch out into misty places. To stay A Writer you will be taking one. Fear not this place is generous for there are myriad side-tracks at which point you can change from one path to another. None are wrong. For all are You, however no longer A Writer, now it is You, The Writer. For we are at this place of choice.
(For a while on I will be using ‘I’, because my choice is an example of going in one direction. This will be written without favour for one side or the other, will not advise you to go one way or the other. This will be written in the style practiced over 40+ years of working in the UK Civil Service, detached, reporting of a situation.)
I normally work alone. Independent of anyone’s advice or guidance. To pretend in doing this I have some admirable heroic element and an aura of Rugged Individualism would be on my behalf preening arrogance and insufferable vanity. I am practical enough to understand this is down to my own stubbornness at taking any advice in general and on my writing in particular. This is how I work. A place with space to engage with my characters, I like to examine the day to day human foibles and quirks not just the dramatic ones associated with Fantasy. A central character is just as likely to stumble out of bed in an ordinary sort of tizzy, forget where they left their shirt, stub their toe and find they have misplaced their hairbrush as they are to fight valiantly against heavy odds. Matters might never reach a clear conclusion….often they don’t seem to in Life. A wise and experienced editor or beta-reader might well throw their hands up in horror when they find this happening all over the book as it would be breaking up the narrative. I doubt if I would argue with them, I would respect their judgement, but I wouldn’t act on it. For me the way I wish to write requires me to put these interludes in, the characters grow in my eyes, anyway and since I am the one writing it is how it has to be.
I have to accept this limits the chances of selling copies of my work. If I can’t work with people at this level I could be missing the first level as to how good my work is for the public in general. Well there is a paradox to be sure. I would like to have my work known, but I won’t seek out advice. Possibly a very bad move. Something I live with. For I must write the way I want to. There again many people write the way they want to and still have the ability to work with editors, friends, beta-writers and so forth.
So. Me. Hopeless case. Probably.
OK out of the First Person Single and back to the world of A Writer.
Layer Upon Layer
No one has to take a firm and unmoveable stance at every level or turning in their writing. Common sense, 45 years of marriage and also 45 years of working in the public domain indicates to me there will always be levels and areas of compromise which give freedom for a writer to maintain their independence, while taking on board advice and suggestions.
The challenge which faces You, The Writer is which way you feel you can go and what you wish to have from your writing.
As a profession. Of course we must leave aside the laughable notion of ‘riches’. There are many folk who make a living from writing, which is quite another thing and they will tell you is a lot of hard work and pain to get there. True there are a very few who hit the target with relative ease, whether they can keep that going is another matter.
You may just wish to write, because you want to, but understandably you would like to have folk know you are doing it, maybe in the upper reaches of three figures or possible scraping four figures would be nice. That’s all you ask for. Just a smidge of recognition. No more.
And there are between the two, those variable levels of emphasis.
Evidence suggests whichever of the two you take would be advised to reach out for some level of support to get wherever you are going.
Whether you work alone, or whether you are able to work with others a few sensations or experiences will be encountered in either.
There will be measures of sacrifice. Either accept do as you wish and maybe never find out how well you are writing. Or understand people are always ready to give advice, in most cases this will be well-meaning and useful, and you will have to change some of your work.
Nothing is simple. There is no magic day when you create your work at the first try, place it into public domain and it promptly draws attention. No matter how much we all would all like it to be so.
Even if you endeavour to seek a middle ground of semi-indepenance you run the same track
The choices are yours.
Both carry elements of risk. Both carry the danger of one form of rejection of another. And this cannot be avoided. You yearn to be A Writer. You are willing to take the chance either way, because the words will not stay there in your head or heart, they are bursting to be free into print.
And so unto yourself say
This is sufficient to raise fire unto your cause and your course.
I wish you well