Campfires Burning

Not that long ago, a friend and I were talking about the hellacious road to publishing.  There comes a time when you realize the only thing you can control is the stories that come out of you.   Not what agents/editors are looking for or the market.

Whenever I think about the blood, sweat, and truckload of tears that come with this business, I have to wonder why I put myself through it.  It’s for the love of a good story, since Hollywood ain’t cuttin’ it.

When I get into a funk, the first image that comes to mind is a good, old-fashioned campfire with about a dozen people sitting around and telling ghost stories.  With all of the conferences out there, either I’ve missed it or nobody has come up with a Campfire Conference for both writers and readers alike.  We could all sit down with a our favorite author(s) around a particular genre campfire and tell stories.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  We can even reminisce about the stories we heard way back when or ask questions.  Of course, you know which ghostly campfire I’ll be sitting at.  😈

This vision brings me out of my funk.  It’s not a cure-all, but it helps me refocus on why I put myself through this.  It’s the thrill of a an exciting story, fresh ideas, and unlocking my imagination after a long day at work.  It helps me get back to where I need to be mentally and lightens the load I’ve placed on my shoulders to get published by NY or die trying.

I can’t begin to tell you how much my campfire vision has set me straight about my writing career and where I want it to go.  Don’t get me wrong because NY is still in the cards.  Whether or not the universe thinks so is anyone’s guess.  I got into writing for personal thrill and chills.  Doggone it, that’s what I’m going to focus on from here on out.  My thrills and chills.  Everyone has to take a back seat.

How has your mindset changed toward writing these days?

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15 thoughts on “Campfires Burning

  1. I write for myself first – that will never change. The only adjusting I’ve done lately is to not allowing publication to centralize my life. I’ll push on, but given the face of our economy, the publishing world will only narrow. Hate to say it, but I don’t see the publishing industry getting stronger any time soon – it goes hand in hand with the economy.

  2. Ain’t that the truth. The economy will effect everyone who brings in a paycheck.

    Kathy, I don’t blame you about publishing not being the focus anymore. It steals your joy and makes it harder to write. When you’ve cut off the thing that leeching your happiness, it’s amazing what you can do.

  3. Dancing always brings me out of my funk. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve felt down in the dumps, lethargic, crabby as all hell, then I went to dance class (hip hop or ballet), then BLAMO. Instant joy. Maybe it’s the adrenaline/endorphins my body releases, who knows? All I know is that dancing’s better than cracky, baby.

  4. heh, well my mindset change has been pretty public on my blog, so everybody knows about it. I think my mindset changed in defining what I need out of this “business.”

    And the answers for me were: 1. I need to share my work. 2. I would LIKE to make money doing it.

    But number 2 wasn’t an absolute NEED. Given that, I decided to go indie on my own. Because I refuse to worry about a “writing career” before I have the opportunity to actually make career level money. For now it’s a “serious hobby” moving hopefully into the realm of “money-making hobby.”

    If I’m successful there, I can call it a “writing career” but even then I’ve decided for me personally, publishers just don’t fit into my dream.

  5. 😆 Karm, dancing is like my secret pep-me-up. I turn on the radio after 8pm and that’s when I jam to my hiphop and R&B. There’s nothing like it, especially when it comes to writer’s block. Who would’ve thought?

  6. LOL! This is almost a rhetorical question for you, Zoe. I admire anyone who comes out on their blog and states their purpose loud and clear. People define their own writing careers. Not the industry, the market, or publishing method. If that means calling it a hobby first, then so be it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    You’re going be a success, Zoe, and on your own terms. I think that’s pretty cool and what this writing thing is all about. 😉

  7. Thanks, Marcia, I hope you’re right! Though I know the journey will be it’s own reward. Even if I end up “failing” by every possible standard, just GOING on the journey and trying is worth it to me.

  8. Just really starting out in writing but, after watching CNN today, I realized that the publishing field just got a lot smaller. I’m an avid reader also. I’ve changed my own purchasing habits. I have to pay more for gas and everything in between so, there’s less to spend on pleasure. I order my books from amazon now because it’s cheaper and I tend to stick to authors already known to me.

    As for my writing, I’m doing all I can do to learn and produce the best work that I can. That’s all anyone can do. Getting published is the ultimate goal but, I obsess over the creative process not the publishing part. That will come if it’s meant to be.

    Melissa NC

  9. Melissa, you touched on a subject in my next blog. 😉 Budgetary cutbacks and the common writer. You bet everyone is keeping a close eye on their wallet these days and I don’t blame them.

    If you have to choose and obsession, choose well. Just because someone is ready to be published, doesn’t mean they will get their chance with a manuscript that’s covered with bad grammar, run-on sentences, and horrible verb conjugation. As writers, we have to start from the ground up before we can hit the publishing world running. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves running in circles. Getting published will happen when it happens.

  10. Hey Marcia, yeah I read it, actually I read it as a link from your other blog. It was what first pulled me over to your blog. Something I said in my blog about failure made someone think of the JKR speech and sent me to your blog where you’d linked it and I read it from there lol.

    😛

  11. 😆 Fellow writers connected over JK Rowling. Yeah, I can live with that. I’m telling you, Zoe, I need to print that baby out and GLUE it to my wall. I absolutely love that speech.

  12. Marcia, I love your campfire visual! 🙂 For me, I discovered writing as a child. Since I did it instinctively and joyously without a thought to the market, and moola I figure it’s in my DNA. And I love that, because everything else is just small potatoes compared to that.

  13. I envy people who discovered stories and writing as children. I discovered movies and started acting them out in my bedroom. Writing spawned later in my life. It happened because I didn’t like the way a story ended, so I rewrote it. Making money wasn’t on my mind at the time either. 😉

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