I was thinking about Lynne Cantwell’s post on “Coping with Unsupportive Support” the other day and it made me think about this indie author/self publishing world we live in. We all need those words of encouragement every now and then. That is why sites like Indies Unlimited and other groups in our social media circles are so important.
It made me ask a question to myself. Do supportive groups or individuals help me reach my goal in writing? Maybe not. Before you all blast me with negative comments, hear me out for a second. As Lynne writes, “… a kind or encouraging word … is often enough to keep us plugging away.”
I agree that we all need positive feedback and support. But, that is not why you’re here. Every one of us is here because we’ve achieved some level of success in our writing venture.
“WHAT? Success? But, I haven’t even published my first book,” some of you may scream.
Success is different for all of us … AND … success changes as you grow. For me, my first level of success was writing one scene for a novel that didn’t exist, didn’t have a main character, didn’t have an antagonist, didn’t have a theme, concept, plot or any other thing that makes a good novel. It was just … a scene.
Here’s what it did, though. It fueled a BURNING DESIRE to do this. It lit a flame that we all feel—that necessity to put words into stories. There’s no turning back. You are in. Like anyone else with a burning desire to do something, I study my craft. I practice. I rehearse. I research. I write. I write lots of stuff. I write blogs. I write advertising copy. I write technical papers. I write reviews. I write limericks. I write short stories, non-fiction, novels and even thank you notes.
So, I say, “See ya later!” to all the naysayers and unsupportive supporters. They will have NO EFFECT on my life, my writing, and my outcomes. Because I have something that none of them have—a burning desire to write. Success will come out of that in one form or another.
This past winter the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl. That’s the championship in American Football here in the U.S. for those of you that don’t watch, care or know about sports. They drafted a quarterback in the third round of the draft two years ago. The Seahawks passed up on surefire future star quarterbacks to get the guy they wanted—Russell Wilson.
According to the “experts,” Russell Wilson was too small, too slow and not talented enough for the NFL. What the management for the Seahawks found out was that Russell Wilson may have been all those things, but he had a burning desire to be the best quarterback in the HISTORY of the game. Russell Wilson studied more, worked harder, practiced more, researched more and didn’t listen to the negative “supporters” around him.
What does that add up to? Winning the Super Bowl in only his second year in the NFL. Here’s the best part—he’s not finished. He wants to be the best quarterback ever. Success changes as you grow. If you have a burning desire, you won’t be satisfied with publishing a book. You want more. You set the bar higher. You publish your next book. You attend conferences and then you start hosting writing conferences. Your burning desire pushes you past your fears of public speaking, talking into a microphone or smiling for a camera.
Our social and support groups are great places to learn, create and even get a pat on the back every once in a while. But, only your BURNING DESIRE will get you to where you want to go. I am humbled and inspired by what our fellow Indies Unlimited authors are doing and creating. The flame burns.
10 thoughts on “The Ultimate Supporter”
Thanks, Jim. It’s posts like yours that give me the nudge I need to keep going whn my confidence flags.
You’re right, Jim. All the home-front support in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have a burning desire of your own.
I guess I’m the exception to this, at least somewhat, Jim. When I released my first book, I never planned to write another. I thought I was done. It was only after the book came out and I started getting positive feedback from readers that I chose to write a second, thinking again that would probably be the end of it. NOW, 18 months later and three books and half a dozen shorter works into the process, now I have that burning desire to focus and succeed. In the beginning, though, if I hadn’t received that positive feedback, I would have chosen to channel my creative energies into something else. Like everything else, we’re all different, and I admire the courage of your convictions. Oh, and… Go Hawks!
That’s what it’s all about and what really matters, Jim–not what anyone else says or doesn’t say, or whether they support us or not. We have to do “our thing.”
Jim, you put your finger right on it–most of us don’t write for wealth or fame or even recognition. Most of us write because we love it, because we can’t not write. Every book is a success, but it’s also a springboard to the next project, and each one pushes us higher. There is no limit. Great post.
Great analogy, Jim. Wilson has an incredible drive to succeed–and he visualizes the end game, which a LOT of successful athletes do. We could all benefit from visualizing our ‘end games’. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just daydreaming (and that’s what I tell my husband when he catches me looking out the window with a 10,000-mile stare) 😀
“You’re not going to make a career out of selling books to your family and friends.” This is what my husband said to me when I was SO DEJECTED when all the artists I have known and supported for over 20 years and my friends and my family weren’t there supporting me when I first published. So…Jim, yes! Those around you – the unsupportive ones – don’t let them have an effect on you 🙂 Our writing is bigger and more awesome than that 🙂
My burning desire is down to a slow simmer at the moment, but you’re right Jim – the memory of the good days is what keeps me coming back. Because when that story is flowing, there is nothing in this world that feels better.
Yes!! You’ve hit the nail on the head with a ten pound hammer, Jim! Excellent post, my friend.
Great follow-up post to Lynne’s. 🙂
A writer must be stubborn to make this work. I think a secret to a successful career as a writer is to embrace it as a marathon and not a sprint. Every day brings a new challenge. Unfortunately, some of those challenges come from the negative feedback of people we thought would support us. I am learning to tune it out or laugh at it. Laughing usually works.
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