Monday, May 19, 2014

The Write Path & IWSG Facebook Group

This week Carrie Butler is hosting a blogfest, How I Found the Write Path. The prompt is to write a letter to yourself when you first started the writing toward publication. She will be compiling a free eBook for writers who are just starting their journey. She’s being assisted by P.K. Hrezo. They have permission to use my entry in their ebook compilation. It is my hope that the end product will give encouragement and assistance to new writers. Find other letters to self through the list of bloggers on this page

Name: J.L. Campbell, award-winning Jamaican writer
Website: www.joylcampbell.com

Joy,

Finding the Write Path

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why we stop doing the things we enjoy. Giving up writing for twenty years took away something you prized dearly. When you started again, the first thing you did was to join a writing network, plus read articles and books. Having better writers critique your work was sometimes painful, but always educational.

A period of apprenticeship is necessary for all writers, but it’s hard to remember that when you’ve fallen in love with your story and want to see it published today. But that’s the time when your style develops and it’s wise to work patiently through that season. Although it will take five years before you are satisfied with your first book, the work will be well worth it because not only will a publisher say yes, you’ll get three book deals within a couple of months. This, after being told that Jamaica is a 'hard sell'. A word of caution—not all publishers are equal and it is good to remember that.

Flexibility is another thing worth remembering and cultivating. It is flexibility that will allow you to explore the world of self-publishing. That path will lead to an exciting, enlightening and uplifting journey. The learning curve will be steep, but well worth it.

The craft of writing will allow you to stretch in several directions. You will be blessed to write fiction and non-fiction, learn how to format eBooks, edit books and magazines, make covers, win awards, talk to students, facilitate writing workshops, and eventually realize your dream of hosting an online workshop.

Writing is a continuous journey that will open your world to a universe where other kind and generous scribes are on a similar journey. Patience is a virtue you will learn. As you like to say, ‘unswerving perseverance is the key to success’. If you exercise patience and perseverance, all things will work together in wonderful ways.

Keep working, keep making strides. Success has no limit.

Yours,
Joy  

 

Some important news: The IWSG Facebook group has reached the 1,000 member mark!  Congratulations!

Here are a few reminders about the Facebook group guidelines:

Since the focus of the IWSG is support, the Facebook page should reflect this ideal.

You are encouraged to support your fellow IWSGers who share their writerly-related experiences, which include accomplishments/disappointments/challenges. Keep in mind that writers are at different points of their respective writerly journeys. Some may lurk for a long time before finding the courage to share with the rest of the group. Since the IWSG is all about community, a word of encouragement or advice may be just what somebody needs. Or even just a smiley face/thumbs up...

News & Promotional Saturday is your opportunity to add a link. The IWSG administrators reserve the right to remove promotional links, especially if they are posted haphazardly.

Saturday is also the day when we tweet each other’s news. Look out for the 'tweety bird' and add your pre-written tweet to the thread. Feel free to tweet for others.

Thanks for your co-operation!

44 comments:

  1. There's a set # of hours someone came up with that it takes us to become an "expert" in that area. So those apprenticeship years are necessary to becoming an expert!

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    1. I think it was about 10,000 hours. Lots of time that, but well worth it.

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  2. I loved that you wrote, "Success has no limit." That's perfect.

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    1. I believe that, Lee. That's a good reason to keep moving forward.

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  3. Wouldn't it be cool if your younger self actually got that letter? How spooky would that be?

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  4. The time it take us to get published does help us grow. :)

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  6. Lovely, uplifting post! You're absolutely right about the importance of flexibility and patience!

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Emma, and for sharing your thoughts.

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  7. Yes, a writer must be flexible to roll with all of the ups, downs and sideway actions of the writerly world.

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    1. So true, Catherine. Anything less and we give up in despair.

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  8. Those five years made a difference, didn't they?

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    1. They sure did. The book was much better and by then I'd grown so much.

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  9. Hi J. L.
    That is an encouraging letter, though not all will be published in 5 years.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog.
    Nancy

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  10. Thanks Nancy. I understand that and this letter is unique to me.

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  11. "not all publishers are equal" I like that. It's definitely worth remembering.
    A wonderful, uplifting letter, Joy.

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    1. I learned that fact the hard way. :)
      Thanks for popping in.

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  12. I'm im lust with "success has no limits". Wow. Way to end a stellar letter!!!

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  13. Hi Joy. Most of the writerly advice echoes the same story - it's not going to be a quick journey or an easy one. It's refreshing that we all feel much the same.

    Wow! That's a lot of followers for IWSG.

    Denise

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  14. Joy that's fantastic! What a fulfilling journey you've had. And I love what you say about finding your style. This is so true. We want those first stories to be the ones, but we grow so much after writing many.
    Thanks so much for participating! And big ups for IWSG Facebook!!!

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  15. Beautiful letter, Joy. Glad you found your way back to writing. :)

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  16. Tammy, thanks. Success is the way we all define it and we all have different definitions.

    True, Denise. Those who have no patience won't reap the rewards. The IWSG group has grown in no time.

    Thanks, P.K. Style takes ages to develop, but well worth it when it's time to do some serious work.

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  17. "Not all publishers are equal..." is such a great reminder. Having one be interested would be fantastic, but three?! Wow. But every offer/package has its own design, so indeed be careful. Great advice and congrats on your success!

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    1. It was a painful lesson learned, Dean, but one I've never forgotten.

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  18. Figuring out which publisher to go with can be such a trick. Seriously? You took 20 years away? That's amazing. I'm so glad you came back to it.

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    1. I started writing before I was a teenager. Don't even know why I stopped.

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    2. I did stop for a little bit, but I came right back.

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  19. I've enjoyed reading all the letters I've come across. Good points to remember, for sure.!

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    1. HI, Carol, yes, they've been very inspiring.

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  20. Joy, you're an inspiration to others; especially since you took a break for 20 years before finally returning to your craft. Some writers don't ever come back to their writing which is sad because this type of creativity doesn't happen to everyone.
    But when it does happen, we are more likely to succeed as we continue to nourish it and dedicate our hearts to our passion.
    And yes! Self-publishing has some incredible benefits. I'm content with the outcome of my decision to self-pub; however, I still may go knocking down some traditional doors in the future=)

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  21. I appreciate the comments about flexibility and stretching in many directions. I'm on that learning curve now and know what you mean!

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  22. Your letter is great! Good job proving that Jamaica can be sold! That's awesome how popular IWSG has become. :)

    Happy Thursday!

    Sam
    Writing Through College

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  23. I bet your younger self would have loved to receive this letter and realise what was in store for her! What a wonderful array of opportunities you've discovered because you decided to pursue your passion. Glad you came back to it.

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  24. Flexibility and versatility are great qualities in a writer. You always have such great advice for writers.

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  25. It's always inspiring to read your posts, Joy. Thanks, Maria, http://delightdirectedliving.blogspot.com/

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  26. I nodded along with this letter! Thank you so much for participating, Joy. :D

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  27. Gina, thanks for coming by. I guess growing up had something to do with why I stopped writing. Probably found other interests. Dedicating ourselves to the thing we love does help us to persevere even when it looks like nothings happening.

    Botanist, yes, I've learned more than I can even begin to talk about.

    Samantha, I was happy to prove to myself that I wouldn't have been the only one reading my books.

    Nick, some encouragement would have been welcome. All the same, I was determined that I would be published one day.

    Damyanti, yes, there are certain qualities we need by the bucketful.

    Thanks for your kind words, Maria.

    Thanks for hosting, Carrie. It was good remembering how far I've come.

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  28. I'm glad you found writing again, and it sounds like you did things the right way with practice and feedback.

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  29. Perfect post. So glad you didn't give up!! All writers need a support group. I'd have quit a long time ago if I didn't have such awesome friends as my bloggy friends.

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  30. I took a long break in-between writing too. It's tough to kick start it again, but this was very inspirational.

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