P-A-S-S-I-O-N and Confidence And Publication Part 1 of 11
August 22, 2009
As writers, we are passionate people, as who else would sit in front of a computer and try to face a blank page each day? We are a unique breed. We want to feel our work is meaningful and exciting. Yet, paradoxically, we want approval and confidence for others. Ah, the writer, a paradox.
I suspect that even saying we should write with passion will give me a resounding, we knew this!
Are you so sure taht you write with passion?
Can you have confidence in your writing, that beyond a select few it is passionate enough? Does it sound good all the time, there are no errors? Is it something you like to do or is it, hard a job… or worse still… something to run away from? Does writing ever scare you? Is it because there is less passion?
Ah, I see not so sure anymore. That’s fine. When one has a grain of doubt about their rather fleeting passion it might be a good thing, after all it is really confidence that helps in our work. We all heard the saying write what you know. I’ll add to that write what you know until you’re confident you can write about what you don’t know.
Yes another paradox. Still, not one that is hard to follow, at some point, you might, as a writer, take a fancy to writing romance instead of science fiction, and that is a challenge. Many writers will attempt a cross over by writing say a short story or reading some of the books in that genre. One good example is Harry Turtledove, he is known as the “master” of alternate history, and I’ve enjoyed his writing. His big jump was to do an alternate history with a mystery thrown in, a novel called the Two Georges.
As an alternate history, it reads well, as a mystery not so much, but if you don’t read mysteries as a rule, it’s a very good mystery either way. What’s important is his subsequent novels were enhanced by this adventure into the unknown. Before that, you could almost always skip a few pages and still not be lost. A bad thing for any writer, although with Turtledove a rather forgivable thing, as the what if was far more important.
I think, he gained a measure of confidence. I can see that with other authors as well, Terry Brooks, when he moved from one successful fantasy series to two other series. Stephen King also made the leap between horror and science fiction. All the above authors are famous of course, but if you think a bit, they are famous really for one type, Terry Brooks it would be the Shannara series, Harry Turtledove with alternate fiction, and of course Stephen King with horror. What gave them the ability to make this jump into the unknown?
Confidence in the writing. They wrote with a certain passion, and yet they could all morph into a different series or genre and still keep readers interest. Two of them also made the jump from fiction to non-fiction, and both books are highly regarded. Sometime the Magic Works by Terry Brooks and On Writing by Stephen King are often named books to have on writer’s shelves.
There are so many more authors who do this, Orson Scott Card, is an author who comes to mind. I’m sure we could all name a number of them, Nora Roberts, Margaret Atwood, Anne Rice (and more). They have something in common…
Confidence and Passion. They are all passionate about writing, and confident in their abilities that is why they have publsihed books. For new writers it is harder to gain confidence, but not hard to have the passion. If you write every day, your confidence will grow, as will your passion.
My Question For you today is this: What else do you think authors need along with passion? How would they go about getting it?