249. Finding that break ...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Earlier tonight I was watching the finale for Martha Stewart's Apprentice on NBC, and it got me thinking. Martha hired on Dawna Stone as her apprentice. Dawna is a publisher of her own sports magazine with her husband. Looked like a nice operation what little they showed of it on tonight's show. I didn't watch the season because the show just didn't interest me. Plus, it ended up going against Lost.

Dawna seems to have done quite well for herself. She is now working in a high-end job with one of Martha's magazine earning 250,000 a year. Now this is what it got me thinking. Dawna Stone had to start somewhere. Her magazine didn't surely start well. Publishing isn't an easy business at all when you think of it, and if we were all here in it for the million dollar pay checks we make for each book we sold then we have a problem, a big problem.

Dawna started somewhere, and so do all of us that have chosen this writing path. No, it isn't easy. The pay may be low to start. You'll work more hours than you would if you had a normal everyday job. In fact, many of us will have to write at the same time we work a daytime job. I am fortunate enough (yes I don't know if fortunate is the right word here), but I can't work outside the home due to a medical condition.  If it weren't for this condition, I'd be a part of the work force for sure.

Some may ask why we do this? Why do writers put themselves through the constant rejections, the nights of staring blankly at the computer waiting for that sudden burst of inspiration, and all the other little pitfalls we fall into in this profession we've chosen. I only know the reason why I do it. It isn't for the money, although the ability to somehow support myself with my writing would be nice. I do this because I know nothing else better.

I've loved writing since I was a young child. Even before I was writing them down, I was creating stories. My mother saw my talent at a young age, and she bought me a tape player to tape me as I played house and school because she saw me creating intricate scenes and characters at the age of five, and possibly even younger than that. We had all my tapes saved until 1994, and then we lost them when we had to leave so much behind when our building was condemned following an earthquake in California.

Dawna has it easy now, but she had to work hard to get where she is today. She found one big break and this break will launch her career even further than it is now. All you need is one break, one publisher to see your writing and be willing to take that chance on you. I believe you make your own breaks to though. It won't be handed to you. Hard work is needed in order to make it. You need to write. You need to get your writing out there. No, it isn't easy. We as writers know that, but if you keep at it, it can happen. You just need to work at it and that break will come.

Hope you're all well. Have a great day everyone.


Very nice piece...and very sage advice (writing is the most rewarding...and sometimes, the most thankless...of callings...but we wouldn't have it any other way :-)

Happy Christmas.

You’ve got it right about writing, Gina. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but the eventual success is worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears expended.

How sad about losing your tapes. I know how that must have hurt. I lost a bag full of my early creative treasures when I was younger when my mother mistook it for trash.

I’m taking a break from working on my looming deadline long enough to get knee-deep in cocoa, flour, sugar and last-minute baking. Before I do, Gina, I just wanted to take a moment to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

Kelly Parra said...

Gina, Happy Holidays and best wishes to you and your family. =)

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