May 5, 2013

Keep Going, Part Four

Posted in publication, slumps in writing, Success tagged , at 2:39 pm by Rebecca Hein

As we have seen, I have something to show for all my years of trying to write: skill and ease in my craft. A few months ago I wouldn’t have dared to hope for more.

Yet now I’m earning decent money writing, and there’s no better feeling in the world. My assignments are feasible because my skill is developed, and I no longer have to wonder if my writing will ever go anywhere.

Thus I no longer feel divided. The tension between what I was doing and my doubt and discouragement about it has dissolved.

September 19, 2012

Self-exploitation, Part One

Posted in performance, publication, self-exploitation tagged , , at 12:13 pm by Rebecca Hein

Creative artists often do their work for little or no money. Writers allow their pieces to be published for no pay, and musicians perform for free.

Why do we allow ourselves to be so exploited? This question haunted me for decades until I finally saw the answer.

September 12, 2012

On Performance

Posted in performance, publication tagged , , at 12:43 pm by Rebecca Hein

Musicians are exhorted to perform whenever possible. “Play for the plumber; play for the milkman; play for your friends.”

This is sound advice. Performing isn’t like practicing because others are listening. Therefore our frame of mind is different and we have to get used to it. Only extensive experience will accomplish this.

Writers also need to adjust to publication, or the prospect of publication, which is our equivalent of performing. One excellent way to start is to write for local markets, anything from your church newsletter to your hometown paper.

This accomplishes two things: it teaches you the habit of communication, and it forces you to write for an audience. Then, when larger opportunities present themselves, you’re ready.