Hard Work - Its Own Reward?

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At my chapter meeting this week, we had two authors selling their new releases. One was signing her very first book, one was signing her first book in ten years.

When I joined SARA ten years ago, one was struggling, where I am now. I would sit and listen to her good news/bad news, depending on the month, and I would hope for her. The other author was doing well, selling historicals consistently.

Then, for ten years, nothing. The published author focused on her other business, her day job, until writing pulled her back about two years ago. The unpublished author watched other writer friends sell and sell, and she turned back to her day job. But in the past couple of years, her muse called and she answered.

The published author emailed me one day last summer, out of the blue, to invite me to join her critique group. Shortly after that, she got a contract for a mystery series. (NOT that I had anything to do with that – are you kidding? I think I finally had the nerve to critique her last week, after a year of the meetings!) But I watched her work her butt off, just like any other writer.

Wednesday night, at the meeting, she hugged me and said she loved working with me, that our hard work – on both our behalf – would pay off.

I looked at these two women and thought, “You know? It’s important to be a writer who works hard.” I don’t want to be a dilettante. I want to have the reputation of a writer who works hard, like these two women did. I want to have a reputation for persistence and determination and drive, like these two women have.

I know there are a lot of us hard working writers out there, and it’s good. It’s hard, it’s frustrating, but it’s good. It means something. Don’t ask me what! But it means something to someone, maybe someone watching us from afar, maybe for our own satisfaction.

Maybe I’m rationalizing, but I feel more at peace than I have in awhile. I think it has to do with this realization.

Oh, and I REMEMBERED! The scene with Hot Shot! I really hope to finish it up this weekend.

Seriously, if you made his shirt and helmet yellow, this could be Gabe.

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Anonymous said...

Mar, I'm so glad you feel better. I told you the other night that everyone loves you. I forgot to add that everyone respects, admires, and looks up to you, too.

Gang, you guys shoulda seen Mar give her presentation on contests the other night...it was great!


Trish Milburn said...

I totally agree with you, Mary. I don't want to be a writer that when I finally sell, everyone says I didn't work hard for it. I know I have, and so have you. I'm hoping for sales for both of us before Christmas!

MJFredrick said...

Aww, thanks, JoAnn!

Trish, yeah, I was thinking about you. You're one of the hardest working writers I know. I hope it pays off soon!

Carol Ann said...

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said we may work hard for our own satisfaction if nothing else. I agree. The satisfaction I feel when a scene comes together gives me a great high (and no one outside my writing friends understands this)!

Anonymous said...

Great post Mary! Glad you're feeling better.

MJFredrick said...

Thanks for visiting, Carol! You're right about people outside of writing not getting it.

Thanks, Mary Beth!


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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