• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Success–Taking the Long (No, Longer Than That!) View

https://i0.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/866688711... 300w, https://i0.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/866688711... 597w" sizes="(max-width: 525px) 100vw, 525px" data-recalc-dims="1" />image by alice popkorn
There has been a lot of chatter in the Twitterverse lately about sales numbers, hitting the lists, debuts, sales expectations, and (the often inevitable) disappointment.
Writing a book is hard.
Getting that book published? Harder still.
Maintaining a career in publishing? Probably hardest of all.
There is no question that all of those require a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. And luck. Don’t forget the luck part, because that is a big component of anyone’s success.
Furthermore, as writers—whether unpublished, debuts, or seasoned veterans—there is very little about the industry that we can control. We can control the writing, and that’s about it. Everything else is out of our hands. That is a recipe for frustration and angst, so it is inevitable that heartache will find us at many points on our journey.
But I’m not going to talk about that today. Today I’m going to ask you to take a step back. No, even further back than that.
Why do we write? Why do humans write?
To tell stories.
It’s the purpose of all art, really, to tell a story, to capture a moment, a feeling, a transformation. But for writers our medium is words.
But stepping back yet again: What is the purpose of stories?
To connect.
With readers, with our own voice, with a shared truth, a voice that resonates.
With the human experience.
So whatever other reasons compel us to pick up that pen or keyboard, whatever lies or rationalizations we tell ourselves, at its most basic it is a desire to connect.
The thing is, we can never truly know what our own life’s purpose is. We can know what we think it is. Mark Twain says two of the most important moments in our life are when we’re born and when we understand why.
For many writers, we think we understand why when we discover writing.
But what if that’s not truly our purpose? What if it is the connections we make through pursuing writing that are actually our true purpose?
Connections with other writers.
Connections with our own truths.
Connections with readers, even if only a handful.
What if writing is simply the medium the universe uses to foster it’s own connections?
Most of us have heard of the Butterfly Effect—the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings over one continent can have an untold affect halfway across the world.
I suspect that writing is like that. Whether we are ever published or not.
Writers with a big audience obviously connect in a big way to a number of readers. But even writers with dismal sales numbers probably connect with at least a handful of readers. Among that handful, it is very possible there is one person who really needed to hear that exact story.
But here’s the thing. We will likely not even know what that moment of connection meant in their lives. They might not even know it. But I believe it’s there. Even if, at its most cynical and discouraging manifestation, our book strikes someone as so poorly written that they KNOW they can writer better tripe than that. So they pick up a pen for the first time. Maybe they write the next Great American Novel that touches hundreds of thousands of lives.
Or write the next wildly commercial success that helps people escape—if just for a few hours—their own pain or unhappiness.
Or maybe that person starts writing, but also never publishes, but through the act of writing, discovers the power of their own voice and are then able to gain much needed agency in their lives.
That’s a powerful connection—even if our book is a dismal failure. And I believe—with all my heart—that connections like that go on all the time that authors and readers aren’t even aware of.
The connection can be as random and sideways as someone asking what book a person’s reading, and they hate the book (yours!) so much that they begin ranting about it, starting up a conversation that sparks a friendship. Or romance. Perhaps they go on to give birth to the next Kwisatz Haderach. Or Albert Einstein. Now of course, no one sets out wanting that to be their grand contribution to the body of literature, but even so, it IS a contribution.
So it’s possible, even if you only published one book and it tanked, it served its unknowable purpose. No, it didn’t launch your career as the next JK Rowling. And you weren’t able to make a living. Hell, it didn’t even earn enough to pay off your student loans! But you likely touched someone’s life in some unknowable way.
You connected.
I think this is also true of unpublished writers. You connect to critique partners, to writing teachers, but again, and perhaps most importantly, you begin to mine your own truths, explore your own voice, ask yourself tough questions. And that changes you. And as all writers of fiction know, when you change the protagonist in any story, that change alters the people and world around them. No matter what else happens with your writing, THAT is a worthy thing, a reward in and of itself.
Now look. I totally get it. I remember the despair, the frustration, the sense of not being good enough—of never being good enough. And that was just last week! Seventeen books under one’s belt does not inure you to those same feelings you have when you first start out.
One of the advantages of experience is that I am acquiring a longer view—not just of publishing, but life. And I am convinced that can help us as we wrestle with our writing demons, regardless of our publishing success. No, you can’t take ephemeral connections to the bank. You can’t brag about them at Thanksgiving dinners with annoying relatives. And you can’t post a cool Instastory about it. But it still matters.
You show up. You do the work. The rest of it is out of our hands. We might know we didn’t achieve the sort of success we were hoping for, but we can never know if it was all for nothing. There is an overwhelming chance that it was not.
So as you struggle with trying to get that agent or receive yet another rejection or are faced with dismal sales number, I invite you to take those three giant steps back and look with your eyes wide open at all the possibilities that exist that you will never see or know. But trust somewhere, in some small way, they are happening. To whom and how much? Well, that’s part of life’s mystery.
Can you think of some unexpected connections you’ve made through your writing? Ways you might have touched others’ lives? Ways your own life has been enriched?

About Robin LaFeversRobin LaFevers is the author of seventeen books for young readers, including the HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy about teen assassin nuns in medieval France and the upcoming COURTING DARKNESS. A lifelong introvert, she currently lives on a blissfully quiet hill in Southern California.Web | Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. "
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • Good writing is an art that makes an ordinary piece of content an extraordinary one. It connects and relates the readers with the story, message or anything that a writer is conveying through his or her writing. Good writing is not inherited, it can be learnt. A person doesn't need to get a higher level degree or take extra courses for becoming a good writer. It just needs dedication, interest and love for writing, which makes a person a good writer.
  • Have you ever wondered how to tell your story but then decided against it because your story's a painful one? Here are a few ideas on how to tell your story when it's one that's hard to bear.
  •   http://writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/6010107241_9f7b946d9... 525w, http://writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/6010107241_9f7b946d9... 600w, http://writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/6010107241_9f7b946d9... 640w" sizes="(max-width: 525px) 100vw, 525px" />Photo by JD Hancock I just launched my first self-published novel in January. Prior to this, I’d been a traditionally published author in a handful of different genres… always making midlist with decent numbers, but never capitalizing on my audience because I have ADHD that would put a hyperactive...
  • There once was a young couple who lived in a beautiful town. They had the best of everything. Their love was strong and real. When their first child was born she was the most beautiful child they had ever seen.The couple believed their life to be perfect. One day when their Daughter was about seven years old the Couple was in a car crash.Checking his wife right away the husband was relived to see she was ok. They both had received only a few scratches.They turned to check on their young daughter and as soon as they saw her both of them burst into tears.The wife started screaming NO GOD !...
  • Anyone else purposely slow down near the end of a really, really good book? Also see my previous Keiko comics.

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

Fiction writing is any kind of writing that is not factual. Fictional writing most often takes the form of a story meant to convey an author's point of view or simply to entertain. The result of this may be a short story, novel, novella, screenplay, or drama, which are all types (though not the only types) of fictional writing styles.