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Thread: Looking for Writing Guide/Mentor

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  1. #10
    vacuous eyes, will bark at shadows Norman Mjadwesch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Hi Daniel,

    As others here have said, there are no shortcuts and no guarantees when it comes to carving out a career in writing. What I would like to say, is that I was much as you were at the same age, but that’s quite a few years ago now. I was working only as much as I needed to in order to pay the essential bills (I actually liked the minimalist lifestyle, still do) and I spent a lot of time writing. A lot. But planning for the future doesn’t always pan out too well. Life happens. You meet someone, you suffer tragedy, you lose your job: any or all of those things, or combinations, or none… you can’t predict any of it, but it will affect the path you’ve chosen.

    Myself? I had your aspirations, similar support networks, the drive to succeed. Those plans didn’t come to pass in the way I’d envisaged. But I kept going. It was only earlier this week that I was talking about this with my best friend and, because besties have a way to speak plainly when they need to, this is what I was told:

    “You’re living every writers dream. You’ve got the most amazing place to write: the space, the time, the view, all of the comfort you really need – so many precious things that others don’t have access to, and an unanticipated financial windfall to tide you over for the time being. Yes, there are downsides to your life, and nothing is ever going to feel like success until you recalibrate your expectations, but you need to understand that what you have is an opportunity to pursue that goal because that’s who you are, and who your loved ones want you to be.”

    Or yanno, words to that effect.

    I guess we all aim high, and too many of us fail to attain the levels that we strive for. Writing is both a personal journey, and something that we simply must do; it’s as vital to us as food and drink, air and [redacted].

    I have the best critique partners I could ever wish to have, including some here on this forum; I’m a member of a local writers’ group; I engage with my local library and am beginning to become more involved in the local arts community; I interact with aspiring writers who look to me for advice even though I’m not the person who can provide that advice. Writing, to me, is as much about helping other writers as it is about learning the trade. Without that contact with like-minded people, I’d feel alone in the world.

    So I write. I keep writing. There are ups and downs. Last month I was shortlisted in a writing competition and then today received a rejection for other work I’d submitted (which I thought was the better writing of the two). It’s just what we do. Some writers are successful, others never scale those heights. There are members of this forum whose work I’ve read which I find to be exquisite – I can’t even begin to compete with their technical standard – and yet they can’t get a publishing contract. All I can offer you is encouragement, and even if your hopes aren’t realised, you’ll never know if you give up.

    And also: Canada is too damned cold, my friend. And you have bears. That’s gotta suck.
    Last edited by Norman Mjadwesch; 10-10-2019 at 12:43 PM.

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