Small Victories That Keep You Writing by Mr. Oh
My name is Mr Oh – Making Repetitive Originality Happen – and I’m one of those writer, author type people who likes to write books in his spare time.
I’ve been doing it for a long time, 17 years in fact. And in that time, I’ve managed to write and release 11 individual projects that are available, via Amazon of course, and, most importantly, are the books I always wanted to write. Now, before you think, “Wow an article from a writer who knows what he’s doing!”, let me stop you right there. I have NO idea what I’m doing.
I am literally freestyling everything and it has carried me on for 17 years. So, if you think that writing is something done by someone with a special kind of training and educational background, you better snap out that dream because anyone can write.
I’d like to give you the one or three things that I have encountered that have given me the energy and motivation to continue on this literal journey.
This list is fully about embracing the little victories and celebrating them as fuel to make you finish that sentence, develop that character or do whatever it is that will get your book finished.
The Idea Stage
So you read something and it was the best thing ever and you thought, hey I can do that! Or you’ve woken up and said: I’m gonna write a book! Whatever your inspiration is, you are inspired. So you gather your brain skills and you start with an idea. The initial idea may have more thread strings than a Marvel movie but you at least have your idea and you believe in it. This is the time when you’re creative muscles are flexing and you are feeling invincible like you’re going to knock down every door and enter every home with your creativity.
Imagine, you are now writing your book. Your great, magnificent opus that is going to change the way people view books forever and you stop and have a read of something you have written. In reading, you begin to picture the scene you are attempting to make and you laugh out loud. Louder than someone should who is reading something they themselves have written.
It may be an emotional response so you may burst into ‘my dog died’ type tears. Or if you write in the field of erotica then your physical response may be like a sneeze only better. But it is the fact that what you’ve written has evoked that response in you, which means it could potentially have that same response in a someone who will read that scene.
Not everyone has this particular victory as not every book has characters. Some are reflections of the person’s life, poetry, blogging, etc. But as a fiction writer, I’ve been able to create a lot of characters, some who stand out more than others. And when you feel a character making decisions in your head without you even writing about them then you know you have THAT character.
If this was Death Row Records, this character would be Tupac. You suddenly have this belief in this character and you start to KNOW (not think) that people are going to love to read about this dynamic, well-rounded character that you have created. Whether they are naughty or nice, good or evil, there is something that makes you believe in them and the way they do things.
The Great Finish
Wait, what, the end? You finished your book? GTFOH! Congratulations! This is no mean feat or something that a lot of people can do. Many have started a book and not finished it but you managed to make it al the way through and you finished your book?! Seriously, that is not easy and all the congrats and unicorn goodies should be on their way to you. That moment when you are writing the last page, whether you planned it or just feel like it’s the last page, and you write the last word and sit back and just admire the madness.
If that isn’t the mid-point of inspiration to keep this gravy train of creativity going then I don’t know what is. Who in the Horton Hears A Who is going to write a book and not deliver it to the published promise land? You just wrote a whole book… if you can’t celebrate that, I’ll do it for you *insert old school 80s dance here*.
Fighting Through the Edits
You still with me? Finished your book and you think, “Hey, I’m the king/queen/in-between of the world!’” right? You stuck with it and I’m proud of you. But the madness doesn’t end there, in fact it’s back in the form of editing. if editing isn’t a female dog then I don’t know what is.
It’s meticulous, painstaking, arduous, irritating, cringe-worthy and everything in between. An original rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t edit your own work as you won’t be able to see the whole elephant (you know: stand too close to an elephant you can’t see it but stand back and see it’s a big fucking elephant). I agree with this but I also like to give them a read through before handing it to an editor or someone trustworthy.
You have to fight through the edit because that is the moment where you are faced with EVERYTHING you have written and sometimes it doesn’t match what you thought you wrote. This is one of the biggest moments of doubt to have as a writer. But you didn’t start this journey just to stop at this huge, honking hurdle.
Put your hands up, defend yourself against bad spelling, jab back at awful punctuation, fix it and move on. Easier said than done but with a bit of practice you’ll slowly be able to come through the other side. And there’s a massive breath of fresh air at the end once you’ve read the difference between your raw work and the edited version.
You’ve written the book, it’s been edited, you’ve managed to get the most appropriate cover, and your title is popping like Lil Mama’s lip gloss. And it’s in your hand! You motherfucking made it, dag nammit! All that time nit-picking and going over storylines and plots and sentences has paid off! Now this moment right here is one of the best in the whole book creation process. Because this is when you are able to see the result of all your hard work, all your tears and frustration and threats… it all came round to this glorious end.
Wow at the cover, marvel at your name (yes YOUR name) looking all sexy and readable. Flick the pages close to your nose and know that there are pages and pages of YOUR hard work fanning your face. You should be chez proud of you… I’M chez proud of you. I know it wasn’t easy but you stayed dedicated to it and you should be showing all and sundry just how much of a bad mother SHUT YO MOUTH you are!
You Sold a Book
You did WHAT? You sold a book! WELL SLAP MY THIGH AND CALL ME SUSAN! You should expect your Nobel Peace prize any day now. Okay, well maybe not the Nobel Prize but this is a damn good feeling. Because someone has chosen, of their own volition, to invest in you and your dream. Your words and ideas and characters are going to be in someone else’s possession and they get to download you through their eyes. That is no mean feat.
It’s extremely nerve-wrecking as this is usually the time you think: “But what if they don’t like it? What if I should’ve made that change on page 47 that I left in there?” Honestly, at this point, none of that matters because your book is out and you just made your first sale. Couple million more and you and JK Rowling are going to be side-by-side. (Let the dreamers dream I say.)
That One Reader
Feedback is coming back to you and filling you with a good feeling that makes you feel like you were right to stick with it. And THEN… that one sunnuvareader comes along and throws everything into chaos. A good chaos. This reader is the one person you were thinking of when you wrote the book. From the obvious to the subtle, they felt everything word for word, maybe even pointing things out to you that, as the writer, you never even thought about.
They may have a favorite character or favorite scene or really like a theme you’ve presented but the end all, be all is that they like something you have created from the depths of your mind. This is my favorite writing joy. Knowing that all the little things I put in the story for people to find and enjoy are being discovered.
‘Have you been on Amazon? Someone left a review on your book!’ are words that will make you damn near drop a baby to rush to their nearest computer or phone to read it. Reviews are great. Fantastic for marketing and promotion, snappy tools to use on social media and let others know that their investment will pay off. But for you the writer, a review is something else. It is someone’s opinion out loud. For other people to read and look at and judge and decide if you are worth their time and money.
And you know what? Bad reviews are fricking great too! Why? Because no matter what book you have written and no matter what kind of review you get, at least you got a review. That person still went out and bought (or borrowed) your book and though they didn’t like it, they still read it and felt enough about it to leave a review. But a positive review? OoOoOo sweet Mary, K-Ci and Jojo, you are going to feel like you are King/Queen/In-Between Midas! The reader didn’t only like it but they felt they needed to tell the world about it in a public forum where you can go back and look at it as many times as you want (on days where you feel like a shit writer, this is great).
Celebrate All the Victories
There are many many more different victories that you will encounter as a writer and some of them will be specific to you alone.
Finding victories as a writer is like sipping water during a marathon. (OoOo… this analogy works.) Because at some point, during different parts of the race, you are going to need a pick me up. Something to help carry you to the end of something that you will not give up on.
With the crowd cheering you on (the crowd in your mind), the finish line in sight and your will and determination hanging on by a thread, you made it.
Small victories along the way to an overall triumph.
So write that book, collate those poems, document that blog, and carry these small victories with you along the way to becoming a published author!
About Mr. Oh
Mr Oh is an anonymous writer of erotica who has been writing since 2001. He has created and released 10 projects, including three short stories, one trilogy and a number of books written from the first person perspective of a woman. Mr Oh writes relative, creative stories that are simply designed to entertain your eyes, mind and thighs.