Today’s guest post comes from Dario Ciriello, author of Drown the Cat: the Rebel Author’s Guide to Writing Beyond the Rules. Dario is a professional author, editor, and writing coach, as well as the founder and owner of Panverse Publishing. For more on Dario’s work and more information about Drown the Cat you can visit his website, check out Panverse Publishing on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.
One of the harder things for writers today is seeing past the avalanche of writing rules and dogma raining down on them from every corner of the blogosphere, the internet, and the publishing industry, to discover their own personal voice and story.
In order to be a successful writer in today’s online world there are certain things you have to do.
If you want to get your name out there then you have to play the game in a certain way.
The internet offers limitless possibilities and it is up to you to choose which ones work for you.
One of the statements above is true, and the other two are false. Can you tell which is which? I’ll give you a hint: look for the words “have to.” Whenever you hear the words “have to” your red flag radar should start bleeping at you that something is off.
I have a really weird thing that happens to me whenever I receive a bit of emotionally disturbing news. Whether it’s something small (like someone tells me I said the wrong thing at the dinner table) or something big (like getting hit with rejection or betrayal) my system immediately goes into shut-down mode. I freeze like a panicked animal, my throat, chest and stomach lock up, and the rest of me feels totally numb.
This numb feeling can last a few minutes, or it can last a few days.
If you’re a writer—and especially if you’re a writer who isn’t bringing in a significant (or any) amount of income from your writing—then you probably struggle with feeling guilty a lot of the time. I know I do. Because you see, I’m not just a writer. I’m also a wife and a mother and a good friend to a few wonderful people. I work a day job and I have a side business that I pour my all into. Simply put: I wear a lot of hats. I have a lot of other people counting on me.
And sometimes…okay a lot of the time…my writing gets in the way of that.
But what I probably feel most guilty about is the fact that my brain arranges it in reverse order: The rest of my life tends to get in the way of my writing.
When writers first start out writing they tend to concentrate on all the wrong things. The big question always seems to be: Do I have talent? This is followed closely by: How do I get an agent? When I was a new writer I also agonized quite a bit over these things. It’s very normal. Whenever a person begins to truly take risks and follow their passion, the first challenges to surface are always questions of self worth and approval from others.