Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Ways Committing to a Career in Writing Will Change Your Life

In honor of her debut e-book The Disappearing Key, we have the lovely Wendy Paine Miller back on the Alley this week for a sneak peek into her new book, and her dazzling mind.

Here's Wendy:

Ah, the life of a writer. The best job in the world. But did you know the second you align yourself with a writing career you’re signing up for life transformation? How you say? I’m about to tell you.

Humble Pie
You’ll taste it, you’ll swallow it. Heck, you’ll probably even roll in humble pie a time or two if you remain with your BIC (butt in chair) long enough. And although it will feel like it, this is never a bad thing. Because you’ll remember the days of rolling in humble pie when you’re making millions on all twelve of your books. It’ll protect you from getting an Oz-head.

Devotion Meter
There’ll be moments you’ll pound the keyboard out of frustration, moments tears will stream down your face as you challenge yourself to come up with a single answer for why you give homage to the craft. Nothing measures your level of investment better than being tested. If it were easy everyone would do it. But not everyone is called. The called stand out from those who dabble when words begin to hide, rejections stack up, and online reviews keep shining a faint solo star. The called don’t quit.

Clarity of Intentions
As a writer, you’ll think more. About words. About how you spend your time. And then you’ll have to make some decisions. Commitment to the craft of writing has a way of sharpening your outlook. Ask anyone who has gone through their manuscript over seven times and they’ll tell you. Whether it’s word selection, discernment learning to say no, carving out midnight hours to plot, or a grueling editing session, allegiance to this vocation forces you to clarify your goals, your words, your time. . .

Spike in Resourcefulness
You’ll begin to scratch your head in wonder at the realization story ideas can spring from anywhere. A doctor’s visit. People-watching at the park. Witnessing an exchange at the zoo. You’ll grow scrappy and eager. No interaction is wasted. No relationship is safe from your writer brain massaging it into malleable material. Oh, and you’ll ask more questions. Don’t ask me, it’s just part of it. Trust me, if it you haven’t begun to pepper strangers with questions yet, you will.

Writers get something. Not even going to try to guess chicken or egg on this one? Do writers write because they see beneath the surface 24/7 or because writers spend copious hours crafting stories are they more prone to notice small nuances?
Either way, you’ll begin to see a story in every person. Experiences will be imbued with greater meaning.
Who knows, you might even begin to judge less and empathize more.
Ah, the life of a writer. The best job in the world.

Have you noticed any specific (perhaps unexpected) ways your life has changed since becoming a writer?


Check out Wendy's book!

Gabrielle Bivane never expected parenting a teenager would be this hard, but she never expected stillborn Oriana to live to see fourteen, either. The night of Oriana's birth, Gabrielle and her husband Roy fused their genetic and engineering geniuses to bring back all that was lost to them—at a cost.

The secret must be kept.

Oriana Bivane senses she’s not like the other girls her age, but the time has come for her to change all that. She’s tired of secrets, but does she confide in the wrong person?

The life-giving key, suddenly missing, must be found.

Wendy is a native New Englander who feels most alive when she’s laughing, reading, writing or taking risks. She’s authored nine novels and is currently writing what she hopes will be your future book club pick. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and online sites. Wendy lives with her husband and their three girls in a home bursting with imagination and hilarity.


Wendy Paine Miller said...

Love being back here at the Alley! You guys have set wonderful examples of what staying committed to writing looks like.

Curious if any of you identify with the above???

Thanks so much for hosting me today!
~ Wendy

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Wendy, what a beautiful way of sharing the reality of a writer's life. Humble pie? Yes, i've eaten some.

My mind is still learning to identify story possibilities, but yes I've noticed nuances, and yes, story ideas pop into my mind in the strangest of places. :o)

Your book intrigues me! Congratulations on getting it published!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Jeanne, Ah, but have you rolled in it yet? ;-) I love how ideas can come from the most unusual places at the most unusual times.

Thanks for the Congrats. It's been an exciting ride.
~ Wendy

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

So happy to have you here on the Alley, Wendy! We are all so excited for you and will one day pick your brain about self-publishing!

I've definitely had a helping or two of that pie. Not my favorite taste but an excellent refining tool!

Thanks for coming back to visit! We're praying for BIG things for your stories. :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

It's good to be here, Amy! Thanks for hosting me. I would love to offer thoughts about my experience putting my work out there.

Refining. Great word.

Love the prayers!
~ Wendy

Nancy Kimball said...

Wendy, you pulled me out of lurking here at the alley. This is a fantastic post that resonated with me on every level. Particularly the called don't quit. Best to you.


Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Nancy, you lurk quite well ;) glad you came by!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Oh how cool, Nancy, that I pulled you out of lurking! I really appreciate your encouragement. Best right back at you!

~ Wendy

NJ said...

I love this blog post, especially the "spike in resourcefulness" section. Ever since committing to writing, I tend to daydream more. I can be at the grocery store and spot a man in the floral section picking up some roses, and suddenly I've crafted his whole back story in my mind. It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there whose brain works in that fashion!


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hello again, Wendy! I saw you on another blog a few minutes ago. :)

I can recall all the times when I've wanted to scream, "why am I putting myself through this?" Then I go back to that defining moment when I knew I'd write fiction. It glues me to the keyboard and keeps me pounding away.

Susan :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Nicole, I love that part of the process, letting my mind travel to all sorts of places and come up with all kinds of stories. Glad you're a fellow daydreamer!!!

Susan, So many times it is revisiting the initial reason you fell in love with craft. I'm thankful you are keeping at it b/c it is so much fun to be in this with others.

~ Wendy

Unknown said...

Hi Wendy,

I am very excited for you! Yes, I can relate to your thoughts on a writer's transformation. Published, or unpublished, it's all a story.

Unknown said...

I'm very excited for you, Wendy. I can certainly related to your thoughts on transformation as a writer. Unpublished or published, life is all story fodder.