Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday's Inspiration - John Jakes - The Three Ps

Leafing through short essays on writing by many authors I came upon this article by John Jake Three Essentials For A Successful Writing Career, When I read it while it didn't exactly inspire me, it said what I've shouted out to others.  What are the 3 Ps he mentioned? They should inspire anyone attempting to establish themselves as an author.

Practice. This means writing. To develop a skill one has to practice. I've some friends who have written one book and that's where they stop. It's been rejected and they cover their computer and never write another word. The only way to gain skill is to write and write. I've been doing this for many years and yes , I did sell the first book I ever wrote but I re-wrote that book many times before it was saleable. I also did what I should and as soon as I sent it out began on something new. I practiced for several years before my first sale.

Persistence is the second P. This means keep going. Rejections hurt. I'll agree to that and there were times when the publishing world imploded and rejections came fast and furious, at least for me. One has to keep trying, keep writing and keep submitting. Now these days there are many different ways to go. There are the large NY publishers, the small print houses, the electronic publishers, and self publishing. There's also vanity publishing but that's not for someone who is a persistent writer.

The Last P is professionalism. This means among other things not thinking the words you've written are carved in stone. Listen to critics and learn from them without becoming defensive. I began in the good days when editors responded with suggestions. This is how I learned and in five years from the first time I submitted the book it sold. There are few overnight successes. Professionalism is also the moment when you know there's something wrong with the story you're writing and then again when you know how to fix the problem. This comes through Practice and Persistence.

So, how about you? Do you use the 3 Ps mentioned by John Jakes.

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