By D.M. Cunningham
You know those blog posts you commit to with all the confidence in the world and then you actually sit down to write and lose all that confidence? Yep. That just happened.
What is the good and what is the bad when it comes to writing? My list of pros and cons is actually not that long. But I didn’t want to make a list. Even though I love them. Top favorite books, top five scary movies, and top three Pop Tart flavors. Endless fun. But let’s be more constructive here. After all you want to read something that could help or at least I think you do if you are here.
Let’s start with the bad. I feel like that’s best to get out of the way. For me, and maybe for you, there is never enough time to write. Work, kids, sleeping, eating, and catching up on your favorite TV show leaves little time for anything else. Especially when you finally sit down to write and you are so tired, you can’t put two words together. When you finally do get all those words together you face the next step.
Rejection. It is countless and endless. You’re constantly told that no one wants to read a book about vampire mermaids and yet the next thing you know a series of vampire mermaid books come out. You want to tear your hair out in a fit of “are they all crazy” rage. This separates and weeds out the I have to do this or die from the maybe this wasn’t meant for me crowds. If you can’t handle constant rejection and truly think the first thing you write is gold and everyone should bow down to you … then please look into plumbing as a profession. We are all stocked up on crazy here.
You got that first book out and everyone should take notice of you and you should get a parking spot at Starbucks where you wrote that great book. Well, guess what, no one cares and Starbucks just wants you to keep buying drinks. There is some excitement from a few people when your book comes out, but another set of books comes out the following week and the week after and the week after. See what I’m getting at. You have to constantly push your book and your skills and yourself to become that author that everyone will talk about. Maybe even Starbucks will sell copies of your book by the cookies. The point is, no one will push your book, promote your book and get it in front of readers more than you. If you think this sounds bad, it is part of the author landscape these days. You HAVE to do it.
The GOOD part. It’s all good. When you write, you learn. When you get rejection, you learn from those notes. When your first book comes out and it flops like a fish on dry land, you learn what to do the next time. Because there will be a next time if you learn and keep learning and take away the good from those situations. Take hits to the armor. Keep fighting. Keep writing. Take the bad so you can become good.
No, forget that. Become great! And maybe you will get that parking spot.
Growing up on a healthy diet of comic books, science fiction magazines and monster movies, D.M. Cunningham’s stories for children are love letters to many of his favorite writers and filmmakers that inspired him through the years. He’s a film and television writer currently working in Hollywood with several of the top production companies such as Cartoon Network, Disney, MTV, NBC, History Channel and Lionsgate. He’s a two-time graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and published writer. His short stories have been published in Underneath the Juniper Tree, Stories for Children and Crow Toes Quarterly. When he is not in the lab creating literary mayhem and monsters, he fulfills the role of television producer, feature film writer and columnist for Famous Monsters of Filmland interviewing the top artisans in the horror movie genre for Terror By Design. His middle grade adventure novel Niles Wormwart: Accidental Villain is available for purchase now!