Susan Shay here.
I have a theory. It’s not scientific and probably leaks like a sieve, but my insides tell me I’m right. Here it is:
From what I’ve observed in life, a person who really wants to do something will find the time to do it with all her heart.
Take my dad, for instance. He loves being a geologist and, at eighty-one years old, still has a great time at his work. He comes to the office nearly every day (if he’s not out in the field) goes to trade shows, keeps up on the latest technologies and takes work home with him because that’s what he loves.
How abut writers who deep down really love to write? They not only get those stories down (No duhs out there, you guys. You’d be shocked at how many people join writing groups who don’t write.) they belong to groups, go to conferences and retreats, enter contests, Nanowrimo, critique, volunteer to help others, study and grow their craft.
Yesterday I met a writer, trying to sell her books at a function I’d been given a ticket to. One book had a purple cover, and the other was gray and had a paranormal-type picture on the front.
I asked what she wrote. She flipped her long hair behind her shoulders, raised one eyebrow and gave a haughty smile. “Fiction.”
I nearly guffawed, but I held it to a chuckle. Of course, she wrote fiction. Non-fiction doesn’t have a cover like that. “What genre?” I asked, oh, so sweetly. 😉
Turns out she wrote romance, but didn’t belong to RWA. (Gasp!) “I know a lot of writers, but I don’t belong to any groups.”
Feeling sorry for her (just a tad) I invited her to visit RWI.
She all but sneered. “With what I make, self-publishing my books, I don’t have time.”
Her words made me thrilled to be a member of RWI. One of the rules of membershp is to volunteer for a duty. Some only perform that one duty, but several volunteer to do several things.
Those who volunteer to do several things are often the ones who come to meetings, make it to our retreats, go to conferences, take online classes, join functions such as this blog, Nanowrimo and final in contests.
In my experience, writers who love to write, who want to grow their craft, keep on learning and selling and learning, do more.
They not only attend meetings, they present the program when asked. They enter contests for themselves and to support the group. In other words, they find the time to do what they love. (Most of us do.)
As Miss Marilyn has said more than once, we all have the same twenty-four hours in a day to do what we please. How we choose to use those hours is up to us.
So what do you think? Should a writer keep her bottom in her chair and write, write, write or is there more to being a successful author than sitting at a computer?