Note: I am closing my old Blogger blog, Write on, Right now. Although I won’t delete the old posts because people have linked to some of them, I want to move some of my favorite posts about being a writer and the writing process, over here and some over to Wordy Girls. Wordy Girls will also be home to my writing prompts and picture prompts. I’ll start moving them in small batches so if you like writing exercises and you don’t have Wordy Girls on your friends list yet, you might want to think about adding it to your list.

Today’s retro post – What does it cost you to be a writer?


I love this quote from Toni Cade Bambara:

“I have shrewd advice to offer developing writers about this business of snatching time and space to work. I do not have anything profound to offer mother-writers or worker-writers except to say it will cost you something. Anything of value is going to cost you something.”

With writing, as with most things in life, you have to put yourself into it before you get something out of it. That means giving up some of that time you used to spend watching television, playing games, sleeping late, or even spending time with friends and family. Because get one thing straight right now; writing is work. It means realizing that the first, or second, or third, or maybe even the tenth version of a story still might not be ready for publication and it means submitting rejected manuscripts again and again until they find a home.

Perseverance wins. Repeat that ten times.

Think about your best-written manuscript at the moment. Have you sent it out yet? How many rejection slips have you collected on it? Two? Three? Ten?

Not enough.

Robert M. Pirsig’s bestselling book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected over 120 times before being published. To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss, collected 29 rejection slips before it found a home. Stephen King received 84 rejections for a short story that eventually sold to Cavalier magazine. How many rejection slips are in your bottom drawer right now?

Why aren’t those manuscripts back in the mail already?

Writing isn’t easy. And it’s going to cost you something. Are you willing to pay the price?