Friday, October 21, 2016

Whom to Schmooze If You Wanna be a Writer

If you want to be a writer, it's all about who you know. 

In this dog-eat-dog world of literary prowess, even those with intimidating writing chops beg for someone on the other side of the fence to throw them a bone. Sure, it starts with having something interesting to say and an incredible knack for cleverly stringing words and phrases together. 

But it also helps to have friends in high places. Or friends in low places, for that matter. Like that old Garth Brooks binge-drinking song. 

If you're gonna be a writer, you have to get cozy with a few particular bedfellows. Because if you don't schmooze with these guys, you lose.

Introduce Yourself to Inspiration. If you don't know him, you're toast. But he's really kind of a player, so when he leaves, just let him go. You can't force him to come back to you. You can't make the guy commit. He likes to be in charge. He likes for you to submit. He winks at you from a distance. He likes to tease because he can. He likes to watch your body rise beneath his masterful hand.

Become Frenemies with Frustration. Inevitably, you will invite inspiration over to Netflix and chill and he will stand you up. You will wait for him and wait for him and he just won't come. Or, he will come so much that the rest of your life goes to shambles. You will be SO full of inspiration that your kids will have to ransack the pantry for snacks because YOU forgot to cook a meal. The laundry will pile up and no one will have ANY clean underwear. But you won't care because you're a freaking writer. You will rationalize this insane behavior by telling yourself that you're sacrificing for the sake of your craft.

Make Waiting Your Wing-Man. Let's say you write something earth-shattering that will enlighten the masses. You don't want to be flying solo when you make your approach to pitch it to an editor. And even though you might feel the need for speed, editors are not necessarily shaking their tail-feathers to get back to you any time soon. You're gonna need someone to play Goose to your Maverick so they can talk you up a smidge while you're waiting to be shot down. 

Ride Shotgun with Rejection. Even though it's the best thing you've ever written. Even though you had to dig down to the very depths of your soul to beget such brilliance. Even though you can't possibly fathom ever writing anything better than that  ever again. It's still simply just not good enough. So, buckle your seat belt, put on some road trip tunes and do some car karaoke with your old pal rejection. But be sure to use your GPS so you don't lose your way. It's gonna be a LONG drive.

Count on Criticism. She will always be there for you. Ride or die. Come hell or high water. She's in it for the long haul. She's the friend who will tell you if you have food stuck in your teeth or toilet paper on your shoe. If your zipper is down, she will notify you. Do not be offended. She's just being constructive because that's what besties do. 

She really does love you. Just the way you are. 

She just loves you too much to let you stay that way.

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