First, a Happy Thanksgiving wish! If you're in the mood for poetry, enjoy Kelly Fineman's take on holiday feasts.
Two pieces I've read recently spoke about the need for commitment in writing:
the side I was also pursuing my dream to become a writer. Key words: on
the side. ... when push came to shove, other obligations always took
precedence over my writing."
"If I was going all in with my writing,
then I needed to keep an open mind about different strategies, be
willing to try new things, and quit thinking I was an expert."
--Jody Casella at YA Outside the Lines
"But the hardest reason
of all not to write is the feeling that we’ve lost faith in our stories
or in ourselves and our own abilities to tell them. And that is the
true turning point, the most important choice you’ll face in your
writing life: when you reach that crisis-point, do you abandon your
unfinished story in favor of another shiny-new idea? Or do you keep
plugging away, even when everything right down to the basic premise of
your book seems flawed, and you’re certain it will never be worthy of
being read by any eyes but yours?"
--Anna Elliott at Writer Unboxed
Casella talks about the need for commitment to start a writing career,
and Anna Elliott describes the commitment needed to keep it going. I've
experienced this myself in my writing life. I, too, wrote "on the side"
for many years, and really didn't put writing on the front burner until
2003. I still have a day job; what the front burner meant to me was
dialing back on other hobbies, watching less TV, and not writing just
when I felt like it, but coming to the writing desk every day. Taking
classes, going to conferences with a professional emphasis, researching
As for the commitment to keep plugging away at a story
even after it has lost its shiny novelty: I have been there, too. I have
many days where I don't know what to do with a story, where I just
can't see around the next curve, so it looks more like a dead end. But
sometimes a writer's main virtue is in just not giving up. There are so
many writer tools and tips that there's always something else to try.
And stories have that miraculous quality of looking slightly different
each time we read them, of presenting new footholds.
has to write every day. And not every story has to be written to
completion. But we all know what commitment means to us, what it feels
like to jump off the diving board instead of just dangling a foot over
the edge. The rewards don't usually come immediately, which is one
reason that committing to writing can be so difficult. But they do come,
often in unexpected packages.