Saturday, June 5, 2010

What If? Imagine the Possiblities!

If you look up the word writer in the Funk & Wagnall’s you will find the following definition: One who writes, esp. as a business or occupation, one who makes or creates with words. That is what everyone in this group is driven to do. We are referred to as. . .Penman, Penner, Pen pusher,Ink slinger, Ink spiller, Quill driver, wordsmith, word purveyor and my favorite, penny-a-liner.
But no matter how many dictionaries, synonym finders, or thesaurus you peruse there is something missing from all of these definitions- Tenacity.
The try to get a squeaky toy from a bull dog kind of tenacity, or the tenacity of a 3 year old who wants a cookie an hour before dinner.
As writers when the rejections start coming, we need have the same resolve, and determination, tenacity of that bulldog and keep submitting. We need to have faith in/and learn to hone our own talent.
Everyone has fingerprints. . .but that is where the similarity ends. Yes we all have fingerprints, but each is different from all. Unique.
Everyone in this group is a writer, but that’s where the similarity ends. Our writing voice is as unique as our fingerprints. So why do we thing we need to write like someone else? Don’t compare where you are as a writer or how or what you write with any other writer.
Have faith in your talent, don’t give up, persevere, hang onto that squeaky toy with all you’ve got, cause who knows maybe a character you create, whether its today, tomorrow, next week or 10 years from now could be the next Stephanie Plum or Harry Potter.
Did you know that 90% of all published, let me repeat that. 90% of all published manuscripts have been submitted more than 3 times?
Did you Know That at the Electronic Publishing of Wings Press the editors send back a quarter's worth of the manuscripts they receive with a please revise and resubmit letters, but very seldom do they get a book sent back.

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind had been rejected by 25 publishers.

Mary Higgins Clark was rejected 40 times before she sold her first book. She now has more than 40 million books in print.

Louis L’Amor received 350 rejections before he made his first sale. He went on to writer over 100 Western Novels. A few days before Louis died in 1988, he was notified that the sales of his books had topped 200 million. In the 19 years since his death, another 60 million copies of his books have been sold.
I think my grandfather must have bought at least a million of those. Some of my favorite memories of my grandfather was when on Saturday nights after Wrestling and Porter Wagoner Grandpa would shut off the TV. We’d eat popcorn, wash it sown with Sun Drop Soda and listen to Grandpa read from Louis L’amor’s latest book in the Sackets series.
What if Louis hadn’t had the tenacity to submit and face rejection for the 260th time?
Stephen King’s first Novel length manuscript was rejected 38 times. The story goes, he threw the manuscript into the trash by his desk. His wife, Tabitha retrieved the book and sent it out once more. That manuscript became Carrie.

Theodore Gisel, our beloved Dr Suess had his first book, rejected 27 times before being published by Vangard Press. To date that book has sold 10 million copies. Can anyone tell me the name of that book?
"And to think I say it on Mulberry St."
Theodore Gisel went on to write 64 Children’s books that have been translated into more than 15 languages. Over 600 million, 600 million copies of his books have found their way into homes and hearts around the world. What if he hadn’t had the tenacity to keep trying? Can you even comprehend a world without Horton Hears A Who,1 Fish, 2 Fish, or Green Eggs and Ham?
The pastor of my church teaches frequently on perseverance and he always says in order to persevere you have to have the mindset of “It’s my bat and my ball and I’m going to play until I win.”
That’s the kind of perseverance, or tenacity we need to develop when it comes to submitting our writing.
When it comes to our writing, we need to have the faith of Peter on that stormy night long ago and step out of the boat.
Grab onto your dream with both hands and teeth if
need be-don’t give up, don’t quit and have that bull dog tenacity believing in your talent.
Because it all comes back to. . .What if?
Imagine the possibilities!


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