Issue 19: Layers of Longevity
All About Indie
The Three Rs
( W )Righting, Resiliency, and Respect
This issue of All Authors Magazine is an important one for me. It has reached a milestone. Another magazine year has come to an end. All Authors Magazine has ran, now, for three years. And I have written articles for the last fifteen issues. I feel both stunned and overjoyed to have been a part of the All Author’s family for so long.
So too with how long I have now been a published author. When I sat down to write my first book, at a time when my life had changed beyond all recognition, I could never have imagined myself where I am now. None of us knows what the future holds, and while we may make plans, most of the time we have to let go and trust.
When the magazine first invited me to write a guest post, my immediate response proved one of fear. However, rather than believe the negativity that popped up (such as, ‘You’ve never written an article before; you don’t know what you’re doing.’), I got on and gave it a go. Given that I’m still here, I must have done at least a reasonable job! And, you know, I’ve had a lot of fun along the way.
This all reminds me of Issue Twelve, The Spooks of Imagination, and what I wrote there about The Tangled Webs we Weave. As a writer, I have a vivid imagination, and it can prove tricky at times picking and choosing what’s helpful and what’s not.
And, of course, I could have failed utterly, but at least I made an attempt. I gave it my best shot. That’s all any of us can do. At the end of the day, if we can turn around and say that we did our best, then that has to be enough. After all, how can we give more than our best effort? It’s an oxymoron because, if we can give more, then we didn’t do our best.
Things don’t always turn out how we’d like. The what isn’t so important, not really. What matters is that we hone and nurture our resiliency. That we appreciate what we do have and move on. That we keep going.
I am sure that each and every one of you, reading this, can relate to both highs and lows. All of us have gone through tough times, and most of us will have felt like giving up every once in a while. When I look back at my life, I am amazed that I ever had the resiliency to put pen to paper in the first place. But, oh boy, I am so glad that I did.
Today, writing is my life. And, many a time, writing an article for this magazine has helped to drag me out of a creative rut. Life can become so demanding and full of busy, and we don’t always manage to carve out the space to write. At such times, having a submission deadline has demanded that I set aside at least enough time to produce an article. Usually, that has then given me a springboard for yet more creating.
If, like me, you often find yourself too tight on time to do the things you love, then I can only encourage you to make the space. Leisure and play aren’t just as important as so-called productive time, but even more so. When we indulge in a little ‘me time’, we relax and rest, which then feeds into more energy for work time. If we don’t, then we burn out. We lose our spark. And we lose the motivation for both work and play.
At those times when you do have the luxury of sitting down to write, you may then experience writer’s block. A long-running project may have dried up. When this happens to me, I find it most helpful to simply sit and write—about anything. The important thing is that I write. I have given birth to many of my short stories this way. Eventually, I find that I am able to return to the original project.
With enough practice at doing this, you will find that you can write on demand. Any professional writer, who works to deadlines regularly, will know just what a gift it is to be able to write on demand. To produce whatever, whenever.
I have grown to love making up short stories for anthology submissions. Not only do they demand a certain word count and deadline, but a set theme as well. All of which stretch and push me. The more I have done, the easier I have found it. The same with writing these articles; with each issue, the topics vary, and I have deadlines, word counts, and themes to work to. And, of course, with anything we produce, we want to try and avoid repetition.
We can use all sorts for our inspiration: images, quotes, opening paragraphs to published books as a springboard (beware of plagiarising, though!), even people watching in the local coffee shop or at the park, not to mention life experiences.
Whether positive or negative, good or bad, we can use anything and everything for our art. It is all grist for the mill. All we have to do is to keep on saying ‘yes’. Such permission can only come from within. Just as nobody on this planet can tell us ‘no’, they cannot give us that essential ‘yes’ either. People can mouth the words, but change only comes from within.
The following quote speaks volumes to me:
‘Art enables us to lose ourselves and find ourselves at the same time.’—Thomas Merton
My art has allowed me the kind of self-expression that I never would have had otherwise. What I write shows me so much about the person within. Each and every time I push myself and try something new, I discover greater depths and deeper appreciation. The more I write, the stronger my voice becomes. The more respect I have for myself, my work, and the work of others.
When I write, I disappear for a while, and my characters take over. I love it when that happens. Perhaps paradoxically, when I disappear like that, I also find myself anew. What a gift writing (and all artistic expression) is.
Not everyone will appreciate what it is we do or what we produce. Always, there will exist the naysayers. However, we do not write for them. The only person any of us truly writes for is our self. I’m an author because that’s what I love. And, of course, I keep an eye on what people say, but only the one. The other, I keep on the bigger picture. Had I not done that, I never would have published that first book.
In looking at the longevity of All Author’s Magazine, I felt moved to discover more about where it came from. To that end, I asked founder and author, Y Correa, what motivated her to bring All Author’s Magazine into being? Here’s what she had to say:
‘Well, it’s a rather funny story.
I tend to be the spontaneous type. The truth of the matter is that one day I woke up and said, “I want to start a magazine.”
I know, I know. Rather uninspirational. LOL ☺
However, that day, the more I thought about it, the more creating a magazine made sense. You see, just a few months beforehand, I’d created the All Authors Blog Blitz; unfortunately, that does not exist any longer. When I created the All Authors Blog Blitz the idea was to make an event that all authors, from all walks of life and genres, could participate in, in order to spread the word about their works.
So, when the idea occurred to me to start a magazine, the hypothesis behind the Blog Blitz made more and more sense. And, eventually, it came into thriving life in a different way.
You see, a magazine would give the same benefit to authors on a continuous basis. Plus, in creating articles I could offer and incorporate information and fun to authors who wanted/needed it. The key was to find authors that shared the vision who could assist in being columnists for the magazine. Once that was accomplished, I was certain that All Authors Magazine would become a cornerstone for authors all over the world.
So, long story short, the motivation was the desire to create something that did not exist and would be an asset to any author who needed/wanted it.’
Thanks, Y! What a beautiful and honest answer. The magazine certainly is an asset for authors.
I don’t know about any of you, but it can be so easy for me to fall into taking things for granted. Each moment of each day, I have to remind myself to notice what I have, and to take a moment to feel thankful. For me, this article is in gratitude for the vision of others that has made all this possible. Without them, much of who I have become as an author would have been unlikely to manifest.
For future ‘All About Indies’ articles from me, I thought it might be nice to ask you what types of topics you’d like to see. Starting with Issue 5 of All Author’s Magazine, here’s a quick recap of the last 15 issues of ‘All About Indies’:
Freedom: Indie V. Traditional Publishing
Harvesting Change: Getting from the seed of an idea to a published book
Whirlwind of Humanity: How to get the best from book reviews
The Beat of the Pen: Making use of social media, etc.
Showers of Progress: Converting Your Raw Manuscript Into An E-book: Part 1
Blooming Sunrays: Converting Your Raw Manuscript Into An E-book: Part 2
Judging a Book by its Cover: The rule of thirds and other visual tips n tricks
The Tangled Webs we Weave: The Stories we tell ourselves
Keeping Your Writing Fresh: Blank slates and letting imaginations run wild
Vital, Vibrant Vision: To be a writer is to be a visionary
I think, therefore I am: Not letting labels and categories bind us
How did we get here?: A look at the history of publishing
An Essential Margin: All art is based on non-conformity
Totality of Possibilities: Question everything
Not until I looked back over these, did I see the wonderfully wide range of topics we’ve touched upon. And without writing for this magazine, the chances are that I would never have delved deeply into many of them.
That’s one great benefit I’ve derived from writing: I’ve learned so much. Whether researching for a book or writing things out for others, I’ve discovered a wealth of teaching. Often, putting it on paper helps me to make sense of it in a way I wouldn’t otherwise.
Delightfully, all the back issues are available online on the All Author’s website. As well as the ‘All About Indies’, you’ll find some real gems from other columnists and guest authors. What a treasure chest Y Correa has given us from her initial spark of imagination.
No venture is without its pitfalls and tough times. This is when we need to dig in and keep going. We need to find that resiliency. The best way to have that is to respect what it is we’re trying to accomplish.
We all know the three Rs of Reading, (w)Righting, and ‘Rithmetic. Well, I’ve made up my own especially for writers … (w)Righting, Resiliency, and Respect. With those three things as our basis, we can only go from strength to strength. They form the foundation of our house and underpin all that we do.
And, although this column is All About Indies, it’s also All About Authors. All about Artists. While it focuses on the art of writing, it also encompasses the whole creative spirit. We could also have the three Cs: Confidence, Creating, and Continuing.
It all comes down to having the confidence (respecting ourselves) to write (create), and then the resiliency to continue. Be like water. It always finds a way. If it can’t go through, it goes around. And even a tiny drop of water can wear away solid rock, drip by persistent drip.