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Wednesday, 24 July 2013
The Artist Unleashed: WILL I GIVE UP? by Helena Duggan
“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp
“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin
“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney
“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch
“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland
“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris
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Yours is a very inspirational story, Helena. It is amazing to know that so many great authors and their stories just don't make it to the "We want you..." list for agents and pubs even when they're really good. I'm glad you have self-pubbing as a viable option to get your story out to the world and to the readers.ReplyDelete
I'll also keep trying, as you keep trying, and we'll see what interesting things await us 'round the bend.
Thank you Angela, the great thing is we are all in it together! Fingers crossed we'll have a brilliant time on the other side of that bend :)Delete
Helena, I love your story. It is, in fact, similar to mine, although it sounds like you've been more successful with sales than I have. Here's to none of us who consider ourselves writers quitting!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Karen. My sales have been on a local level so it's not like I've sold a million copies, I'd say you're doing as well as I am! Here's to not quitting!!Delete
Encouraging story. It helps while I'm still waiting for responses. And as the saying goes, "A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins."ReplyDelete
I have my fingers crossed for your responses Em, hopefully they are not "we regret to inform you" but if they are remember we're all in the same boat...Good luck!!Delete
This is lovely, and quite possibly makes it clear that success shouldn't be something you aim for, but live through instead. It sounds like you've had success, Helena, and I hope you keep achieving it by simply not giving up.ReplyDelete
I think that's a really good way to put it Michelle...maybe we'll never know when we're successful because it is something that's lived through, and it's all relative. Though it's hard sometimes, I definitely won't give up, it what I love doing. Thank you for your lovely comment!!Delete
If you've sold well and have children talking about your book, then you are a successful author. Doesn't matter the path. I'll probably never have an agent, but where I'm at with my small publisher is already beyond what I imagined.ReplyDelete
Seriously? You find this DISCOURAGING? The highlight of my writing career was the time I got five retweets on Twitter and one was FROM MIKE BIRBIGLIA. I thought I was the cat's meow. If I had a famous author read my book, I would never stop talking about it, ever. I would have a t-shirt that says "Ask me about the time [FAMOUS AUTHOR] read my book," only you'd never get to finish reading the t-shirt because I'd be telling you about it already.ReplyDelete
Seriously: there's a difference between 'what we do' and 'what we do for a living.' Anyone who's ever said "I'm a father and a lawyer and..." gets that. In your case, you have written a book. It has sold copies. People have read it and liked it. YOU ARE A WRITER. You're probably more successful than 90% of the 'writers' out there.
The question is not whether you are a 'writer' the way I or they or someone else thinks of it. The question is what your goals are. Do you want to be a 'writer published by a traditional publishing house'? If so, why? If not, then why keep submitting? Do you want to make writing be the sole or at least primary means of earning your living? Do you want to write to have people enjoy it? Do you want to write because YOU enjoy it?
Nobody ought to do anything without knowing what they want out of it. I stopped submitting my writing to publishers because that was the part I hated. I liked the part where I write, I liked the part where people read it and say they liked it, but I didn't like the part where I had to send JUST TEN PAGES NO MORE OR LESS EVENLY SPACED 5" MARGINS IN TIMES NEW ROMAN FONT ANY SUBMISSION THAT DOES NOT MATCH THESE STANDARDS WILL BE INSTANTLY DISREGARDED AND THE AUTHOR OF THAT SUBMISSION WILL BE RIDICULED AT OUR NEXT STAFF MEETING ALSO NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSION.
(Who could tell, that latter? HA HA, agents: I simultaneously submitted the holy bejeezus out of you!)
I didn't like that part at all, so I gave it up.
So ask yourself why you write and what you hope to get out of it. Then make sure you conform your writing to get that out of it.
Also: congratulations on the success of your children's book. Those are way harder to write than people imagine.
Helena, thanks for sharing your story in all its many ups and downs. I have experienced a few ups, but way too many downs. I question my self-worth each day. But I also keep writing.ReplyDelete