Today is my birthday. It's not one that ends in "5" or "0," so it's not one that engenders depressing reflection on such topics as "What Am I Doing With My Life?" and "Why Haven't I Accomplished All I Wanted To Do By Now?"
It's just a birthday. I'll be spending a portion of it teaching the first in a series of 4 Writers Workshops at the Bridgman Library in Southwest Michigan.
Birthdays are often associated with both gifts and wishes. Which got me thinking about another list. So, I present to the Birthday Fairy, my Wishes for Writers everywhere. I wish you:
- Sleepless nights and days of distraction. Nothing compares to the joy of having a work in progress be so compelling that it consumes your thoughts and your dreams. The combination of creative energy and laser-like focuses of brilliance can fuel a writer for long, long periods of time that must be spent in the Real World.
- A kind, beneficent, forgiving muse.
- Thick skin to deflect the barbs of criticism and the poleaxes of rejection. They have killed and wounded many a worthy writer. Don't let them get to you.
- A certain supportive someone. Whether you discover your support in your spouse, your sister, or on Twitter, here's hoping you have at least one person in your life who loves every word you commit to the page.
- A tough but fair beta reader. May you find someone who is willing to not only read your work and comment on it, but who can identify flaws and suggest ways to make it better. Most beta readers don't come gift-wrapped, but they should. They are a writer's secret weapon against rejection.
- Enough rejection to keep you humble.
- Enough acceptance to keep you writing.
- Enough fans and readers to keep you sane.
- Enough critics to keep you trying harder.
- Time to read.
- Time to write.
- Time to experience life so you can write even more authentic and compelling material.
- Finally, I wish you a heaping helping, lifetime supply of perseverance. Keep on keeping on. No matter how many distractions life slings at you. No matter how many speed bumps and detours you discover on your road to publication. No matter how many birthdays the Birthday Fairy lays on you. Keep writing. Keep creating. Keep believing that it will happen...
~Candles blown out~