I have asked a fellow workshopper if he would like to contribute to my blog. So please welcome Pete Aldin to the Written In Blood Family.
5 Reasons to Never Give Up Writing.
1. Writing is for fun and not for validation
You are a human being. That fact makes you valuable. None of us needs to write anything to feel like we’re significant or achieving significance; publication is icing on the cake. I was told at my most recent Writers’ Circle that sometimes I get a little intense when it comes to my projects. My friends were elated when I wrote a fun piece for fun. They saw a different side to me and celebrated – not the brilliance of my verse – but the fact that I’d played.
If you’ve lost sight of the fun in your art, take some time out to rediscover it. Play. Experiment. Write something that only you and God will ever read. Make yourself laugh. And remind yourself that you are far more than the sum of your finished pieces.
2. Breakthroughs come to those who work their arses off and don’t stop learning.
Hopefully this speaks for itself. A quick and humbling anecdote. A couple of weeks ago, I had a (very masculine) meltdown/freak-out when I got a knockback from a UK agent for a novel submission. The email intimated that the novel wasn’t “special” enough to be purchased by a publisher. I don’t know why it hit me so hard but it did. I annoyed my Facebook friends with my complaint, I emailed a few close friends with a “What the hell am I to do?” message. I barely slept.
Nine hours later (overnight Australian time), an email from another UK agent came in saying the book looked interesting and inviting me to submit the first 3 chapters to her.
You never know what’s just nine hours away. Do. Not. Stop. Hoping.
3. You have a voice. It’s your right to use it.
I’ve just saved you reading hundreds of pages of the Steven Covey book The 8th Habit. Because all umpteen-hundred pages just say what I said there. Use your voice. Use it. Speak up through your writing. Whatever’s in that Muse Organ in your brain. Whatever’s in your heart. Whatever’s inspiring you or making you think or question. Write it. Give it voice.
4. No one can write like you. It’s your responsibility to us to let us read you.
Following on from #3, I firmly believe God gives us a gift for a reason. Not only is it your right, but it’s your responsibility to speak up through your writing. My life would be the poorer if I had never read the opening chapter of one of EJ’s drafts (which as well as being fun, gave me an empathy for people I’d started judging – shhh, don’t tell her that). My life would be poorer if I’d never read Elizabeth Moon’s Speed of Dark or sundry other short stories, poems and novels on my shelves.
Let us read you. There will always be people who want to.
5 And finally… what the hell else are you gonna do?
If you give up writing, what will you do with your time? Whittle figurines out of soap? Trade exotic stuffed toys on eBay? You’re a writer for goodness sakes. It’s in your blood. So. Go write. Get better at your art, get better connected with folks in the game, learn the biz, and enjoy yourself.
WHO IS PETE ALDIN:
Pete Aldin has been writing scifi/fantasy/thriller stories since he was a kid. In his 40s, he finally decided to actually finish the damn things.
Pete lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his family and their small yappy dog. His addictions include alcoholic ciders, movie soundtracks and the FIFA franchise on Xbox. He doesn’t like pina colada or taking walks in the rain.
He can be found lurking in the shadows at http://www.petealdin.com .
His writing credits include:
• Deathsmith (Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, October 2010)
• The Bridge (6 Tales, December 2011) free here
• Night Music (Niteblade, March 2012)
• Illegal (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Issue #56) – a collaboration with Kevin Inkenberry
• The Whipping Tree (Niteblade, March 2013)
• Mud (Horrific History anthology, Hazardous Press, April 2013)
• No Good Deed (Out of the Gutter, Bareknuckles Pulp #31, April 2013 – another online freebie)