Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost Too

Ever see this silly bumper sticker?  My kids would be the first to tell you to heed that warning if following me; I get lost in a 10 mile radius of my house! Not because I don’t pay attention to signs, but because I try to absorb everything around the signs. 

That’s what writers do, right? Use our keen observation for detail? 

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Well, I’ve been lost. But that’s not news to you. My focus and my writing has been driving in circles, getting off at all the wrong exits. Or maybe not. That’s how we learn about our surroundings. Exploring. Trying a new route, taking it all in. 

However, to be a published writer, one must come down to Earth and observe the signs around them. Otherwise we’re just wasting gas. (And with the cost of fuel these days, that’s not advised.) 

I’ve received signs that I’ve been ignoring for some time now, years, to be honest. I am a Fiction Writer. That’s it. I write fiction, I breathe fiction, I read fiction, I teach fiction. So, why am I researching nonfiction markets, jotting down ideas and then cringing at the task of writing these articles? Because it’s not my route. It’s just not. 

Believe me, it’s scary for me to say I’m not going to take on every opportunity that lands in my inbox via market lists and contest announcements. Because I always thought, the more you write and submit regardless of the topics, the better known you’ll become. But, known for what? The ability to regurgitate mass amounts of articles, tips and fillers on numerous, unrelated topics? Writing all over the map. Not smart. Not for me, anyway. 

So, my new path will be to focus on my fiction writing and teaching. 

I plan to merge my two blogs here into one happy home at Writers Inspired. This will allow me more time to write concise focused posts and more time to write and revise my novel-in-progress. 

I hope my current readers will benefit from the fiction writing tips, inspiration, author interviews and the occasional rants I’ll share. And I hope to encourage teachers to follow and find helpful ideas for their students, as well as provide a place for young writers to explore, learn and experiment with occasional calls for guest posts. 

In the meantime, I’ll be at the rest stop, planning my next point of interest on this newly chartered journey. Happy Writing and stay tuned for the changes! 

“Your only concern right now should be to write.  Write your book. Write it well. Then rewrite it even better.” ~ Louise Doughty, author of A Novel in a Year



Filed under Advice, Fiction, Perseverance, teaching, writing inspiration

11 responses to “Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost Too

  1. Pingback: We’re Moving! « Write Like CRAZY: where young writers gather

  2. It’s hard for me, as well, to pass on calls for submission.

    That quote says it all, and I can’t write my book (well), if I’m scratching out quick submissions for contests and such.

    Great post! I look forward to your new focus.

  3. Thanks, Christi! That quote is taken from the book I’m reading (and working with) on my N-I-P (Novel in progress!) Updates to come…

  4. I love this blog and this post.
    I will follow you on your journey of tips and inspiration, et al. And if you get lost along the way, well, that’s just part of the adventure. So step on the gas. Let’s get started.

    I’ll be right back.
    Thanks for visiting my blog Talkin’ Kids.

  5. Hi, Mary Jo. I understand the feeling you describe. Have you taught students who couldn’t identify their own strengths as writers? Who didn’t recognize that their tone and subject matter might be a little incompatible? Or who never seemed to notice that they weren’t the only creative writers struggling to find ways to be compensated for their work? Perhaps the most constructive way to advise a writer is by telling her what kind of writing she does best or by helping her identify which category of narrative suits her voice. Beyond that, of course, we all need encouragement when things aren’t going our way. It takes most people years to establish their professional reputations, but we don’t seem to allow writers and other artists sufficient time to build their careers in the same manner.

    Good luck with the novel, and don’t be tempted to rush.

    • Thank you, Robin. How true. I can advise my students, yet hesitate to take my own advice. And I love your insight on how we writers and artists don’t realize we’re building our careers, as well, and need the time for study and experimentation and the slow climb to success, as say, a salesperson or accountant.

  6. Well, I for one am very excited for you! Way to grab your passion and run with it. I’m looking forward to watching your new direction unfold! 🙂

  7. Hi there!
    You have a great little resource here. Thank you! I’ve been visiting sites of contributors to The Motherhood Muse, and you and I are contributing neighbors in a sense. So, it’s nice to sort of meet you, and I’ll visit again!

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