Suck It Up Buttercup

12:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 58 Comments

It's IWSG Day!! Time to whine, err, I mean share our concerns, fears, and insecurities. Thanks to our founder/host, Alex Cavanaugh and his trusty co-hosts: LG Keltner,Donna Hole, Lisa Buie-Collard and SL Hennessy!

Join the IWSG Here!


Writing is hard work. Sure, you get to do most of it in your pajamas...it's still hard work.

There are stories to write. I know it seems like it's as easy as typing words on a page, but it's a bit more complicated than that. It's good to study craft so you can weave together character, plot, and setting while wearing your master-of-proper-syntax cap.

There are stories to edit. Seriously? You thought giving a story the once over a few dozen times was enough? Aren't you a cute little newbie! I suppose you still believe in the Tooth Fairy too?

There are stories to market. How will you get the word out? Facebooking, blogging, Tweeting, praying, begging- which will you choose? Where will your precious time be spent?

Simple fact: There is no magic bullet. Writing isn't a quick route to fame or fortune. Truth is, it may never bring you seven digits or a trip to Oprah's couch. If that's a problem, well, it's just my opinion, but you're in it for the wrong reasons. I'm betting frustration will be your constant companion. Quit now.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Writing is hard work. You want easy money? I suggest lottery tickets and slot machines. At least then if you lose, you can blame bad luck, curse a crooked system, and move on to another game sans identity crisis.

If you want to make it in writing, then you better be able to suck it up buttercup. No part of this is easy. Stories aren't carried in by angelic little muses and then promoted by a team of Madison
Avenue hot shots.

 It's all on you. It's your book and no one else rightly gives a crap whether or not it fails.

And there's a lot of competition...with more arriving every day. Hell, everyone who owns a pencil thinks he can write a book.

To succeed, you'll have to hang in there. And work. Then work some more.

Simple fact: The only thing that will stop you is you.

You can't be fired; you can only quit. 

                                                             ######

For all you crazy NaNo'ers (I say crazy because I fail every single year and said heck with it) out there, Eva Solar is helping the NaNo organization by trying to raise money for them. If you're all about NaNo'ing and want to keep it going...you can donate HERE!



photo credit: Puzzler4879 via photopin cc

58 comments:

  1. >>You can't be fired; you can only quit.<<

    Perfect quote!

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  2. Writing is DEFINITELY hard work! People don't realize that. And it's so personal. People don't realize that part of it.

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    1. It is very personal. I mean think about it- no one goes up to their accountant and just offers an unsolicited critique. But doing that to a writer is totally expected and part of the job.

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  3. This reminds me of an old episode of Monk, where someone says, "SIU" = Suck It Up. I tell myself that every time I find myself whining more than usual. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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    1. Oh, I have been whining!! This post was pretty much the kick to the bottom I needed.

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  4. You can't fire me! I signed up for this mess on my own.

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    1. Nope, you cannot be fired or even laid off. The down side to that is there are no vacation days either.

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  5. Replies
    1. They'd never believe us, even if we showed them.

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  6. What? I can't fire myself? Where is the fun in that? Can i fire the cat? lol hard work indeed, pfft to the lottery, give me roulette any day

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    1. No, you cannot fire the cat! Do yourself a favor and let the cat pick the numbers.

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  7. Now this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! lol

    S.K. Anthony: My Writing Quirks—IWSG (16)

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  8. That's what I needed to hear today. Watch out, sleeves. I'm about to roll you up! :)

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    1. You go David (AKA Dave)...hehe...still laughing.

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  9. What a wonderful post, Elizabeth!!! So true!!!

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  10. Writing is hard work, which is why I hate it when non-writers think it's sooo easy. I would love to challenge them to write a book and tell them to "Cut it up, buttercup!" :)

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    1. It's one of those things that unless you've done it, you don't get it. And one of the biggest reasons I will never rip another writer in a review. I know how much work went into that story- even the ones that aren't my cup of tea.

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  11. You're right! Writing is hard work. Much harder than I realized when I first started. Still, it's all worth it when it all comes together.

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    1. When I first started, I was pretty sure I'd be on the NY Times list within a couple of weeks. Ha!

      But yeah, when you do it for the love of doing what you do, it's sweet no matter what the pay out.

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  12. Making lots of money and being famous is a nice dream. But that has to be a byproduct of passion, hard work, maybe just a bit of insanity, and a whole lot of luck. Keep on working!

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    1. I've got the insanity part down. Working on the rest...Times list here I come!

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  13. This can be a hard realization for people, but it's so true! The revision comment made me think of me! Lol. I remember being a poor little newbie. I had no idea what revisions really were. :-P

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    1. Every time I think I've got revisions done, there are more flaws found. Never fails!

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  14. oh no, no no no no no, you're not implying there is no tooth fairy are you? At least I got my angelic little muse out of the room before we got to THAT! Guess I'm gonna have to actually put in a little effort. So much for retiring on that Caribbean island I planned to purchase with my royalties. hehehe

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    1. Sorry Jeff, no tooth fairy, though those angelic muses have been known to yank on the teeth every now and then. As for that Caribbean island, when you buy it, I'll happily volunteer my services as grounds keeper :)

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  15. This is a great post Elizabeth. Good points all around. I do have to disagree with your statement about your past NaNo attempts. They weren't failures; they were x-amount of words closer to your finished novel. :)

    Thanks for sharing the fundraising page; it means a lot. Huge hugs from your partner in confusion! Xoxoxo. Eva

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    1. You are the most positive of spirits. I suppose you're right. I am actually working on a manny I first thought up during NaNo so many years ago.

      My pleasure to share your efforts. Hope it helps!

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  16. Are you saying begging doesn't work?

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    1. Looking desperate never really helps...trust me, I've tried ;)

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  17. You don't need to be able to hold a pencil these days so more competition yet again. Hard work and perseverance is the name of the game. After defying all my naysayers no way can I quit. Plus I love writing. What am I quitting it to do? Something I like even less? No thanks!

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    1. That's right! You're not allowed to quit now. You've come too far and worked too hard! The love for what you do is the real key. If you love it, all the work and study doesn't even feel like work. That's how you hang in there, remembering you do it for your soul, not the dollars.

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  18. Writing is hard work. I love when people call themselves writers, but don't actually write anything... but they are sure they would be fantastic.

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    1. They are the ones who know how easy it is.

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  19. 'You can't be fired; you can only quit'
    Ouch. That really gets you where you live.

    Great post. :)

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    1. You know you can't be Melissa, you're the CEO and the talent.

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  20. Blunt and true. For 99% of us, this isn't a vocation that'll earn money. You can only keep doing it if you love it. Thanks for the dose of truth! I'm sucking it up, Buttercup! lol

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    1. I sometimes find myself obsessing over numbers and need a knock to the head. I think your chances of making money are better if you're in it for the love. Then all the work it takes doesn't wear you out so quickly.

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  21. A dozen once-overs won't be enough, Elizabeth? I was going to go for only one or two. Crap. Naive should've been my middle name. =)

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  22. "No one will work harder for you than you."

    I can't remember who said this, but it is more true in writing than anywhere else.

    Nice tone on the post. Tough love and honesty in a slap-in-the-face kind of way. I can almost see you point your finger at me as you read each point, like a drill sergeant. "SUCK IT UP SOLDIER!"

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    1. I think we all need a kick in the pants every now and then- I know I do!!

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  23. Wonderful post. I always come across people who think writing is easy. If they only knew. Once they immerse themselves, then they find out.

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    1. I used to be one of those people who thought it was easy. Wow was I in for a lesson!

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  24. Yes! Yes I do believe in the toothfairy, and the little pixies who come to finish my editing when I'm not looking... Okay, maybe not. But it would be nice. Sort of. It just wouldn't be the same if everything just happened. At least, that's what I tell myself when I'm in the throes of a big bad edit. like, you know, right now.

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    1. I do believe in Fairy Godmothers- especially the kind who work on PhD's!

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  25. Great post, Elizabeth! Heck yeah, writing is hard work! And trying to get published too! I feel like I have a full-time job right now called Query Dispatcher. It's amazing. The longer I do this writing thing, the more I learn.

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    1. And then when you think you know everything, it all changes. But learning and banging your head against a wall is part of the fun and adventure!

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  26. Woohoo! That was like an energy kick. I especially liked that last line: You can't be fired; you can only quit.

    Well said, Elizabeth.

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    1. Thanks much Loni. Good to see you found motivation in it!

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  27. wait wait... hold the phone! are you saying I won't make millions? billions? well then I QUIT!!!! - said no one ever that really knew about the writing world :D

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    1. Oh, now you'll make billions Tammy. I wasn't talking about you. ;)

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  28. *sings* Why do you build me up, buttercup baby, then you let me down...

    Great post! Writing is so much work. And I love it. :-)

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    1. Love that song!!! I should go download it. It would make a perfect writing song! Just replace call with email.

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  29. "It's your book and no one else rightly gives a crap whether or not it fails."

    I LOVE that quote.

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    1. And it's so true. Okay, well, your mom might care. LOL

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